Telling girls they don’t like STEM halves their involvement at any age

Even children as young as 6 can develop ideas that girls don’t like computer science and engineering as much as boys – stereotypes that carry over into teenagerhood and contribute to gender gaps at university, according to a study published in PNAS. “Gender-interest stereotypes that STEM is for boys begins in grade school, and by … Continue reading Telling girls they don’t like STEM halves their involvement at any age

Rewind: Where the women are

Each 11 February is the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to celebrate, today we’ve gathered up some of our favourite recent stories covering research studies led or conducted by women scientists. Exploring Einsteinium A team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, US, uncovered properties of the radioactive element Einsteinium for the … Continue reading Rewind: Where the women are

The vision of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

Crystallography sounds as if it could be among services on offer at a fortune-teller’s shop, alongside tarot cards and palm readings. One of the soothsayer’s most revered props is the crystal ball, which is why another name for the craft is crystal gazer. In that, it would seem, there is a connection between the oracle … Continue reading The vision of Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin

We can all be stargazers – now is the perfect time

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to put their day-to-day lives on pause, whether this meant cancelling travel plans, working or studying from home, or putting a halt to in-person social interaction. As we look for silver linings, astrophysicist, proud Wiradjuri woman and UNSW PhD candidate Kirsten Banks says stargazing conditions have never been … Continue reading We can all be stargazers – now is the perfect time

Lessons from climbing the highest mountains

Climbing the world’s highest mountains may seem worlds away from a lab, but not for cardiologist Dr Nikki Bart. The UNSW lecturer, cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, and heart researcher at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is not just a leading scientist. Bart is also a world record-breaking mountaineer. With her mother, the duo became the … Continue reading Lessons from climbing the highest mountains

Stereotypes change, others confound

Years of efforts to change the stereotype of scientists may be having an effect, say Australian researchers. However, while some stereotypes have changed, others remain firmly entrenched. For the past 50 years repeated studies have found that school students hold stereotypical images of scientists as men, with the image being reinforced by depictions in textbooks … Continue reading Stereotypes change, others confound

Polly Matzinger’s unique path to science

Few, if any, internationally renowned scientists came into their fields of expertise in such a roundabout way as Polly Matzinger. In recounting her story, the danger lies in appearing to make light her achievements, in view of her personal history. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, many people could find inspiration in her … Continue reading Polly Matzinger’s unique path to science

Gender equity in science

“I would have been a scientist… but I was denied access to an education” says Aboriginal activist and Kaurna Senior Clan Leader Georgina Williams. Williams’ story formed part of her Welcome to Country for the Catalysing Gender Equity 2020: Be part of the solution conference. And it was that story on unfairness, injustice, and her … Continue reading Gender equity in science

Making a comeback to science

For women, a career in science is hard – recognition for their contributions to research has come a long way. However, there are still major gaps in women’s success in gaining research funding, and advancing in their careers. In particular, STEM professionals that take maternity leave often feel it is detrimental to their career. Overcoming … Continue reading Making a comeback to science