Scientific Resolutions for 2015

It is that time of year again, when we start reflecting on the achievements and events of the past year, and begin making resolutions for the coming year. DiscovHER has a few things on the wish list for 2015 that we would like to share with you!

Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to a woman


As Slate.com states, “It’s been more than 50 years. There are plenty of excellent candidates.” We agree! It is about time we see one of the many brilliant female physicists awarded for their work that ranges from stopping light, to condensing stubborn particles, to surveying, categorizing and plotting tens of thousands of galaxies, among many other incredible feats.


Just to name a few: Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Fabiola Gianotti, Margaret Murnane, Mildred Dresselhaus, Lene Hau, Deborah Jin, Helen Quinn... the list goes on!


Improving ratio of women on scientific missions and projects


We witnessed some amazing events this past year: India successfully putting a satellite into orbit around Mars, the Rosetta mission landing a probe on a 2 ½ mile comet, CERN naming a brilliant female scientist as Director General for the first time, just to name a few…


But what we would really like to see in 2015 is an increase in the number of women on these exciting missions and projects! Only 10% of the scientists working on India’s Mars Orbit Mission are female. And, the Atlas experiment at CERN boasts only a 20% female population on its team. We are ready to see these numbers rise!


Close the gender gap in Science and Engineering PhDs


"Scientific American" came out with an interactive chart mapping how 56 individual countries fare in terms of PhDs awarded to men and women. When it comes to Science and Engineering PhDs, Uruguay, Portugal and Lithuania boast the highest percentage of women graduates, with 61%, 58% and 57% respectively. However, other countries aren’t doing so well: In Taiwan, Armenia and South Korea, 17% - 21% of PhDs in the Sciences are awarded to women.


Closing this gender gap in all countries, and working towards parity in academic in leadership positions is something we would like to see for 2015.


Breaking down the stereotypes that are holding women back


By now, we are all aware of the gender gap in most scientific domains, and particularly as we move up the career ladder. We also know that stereotypes play a role in causing this disparity. So, for 2015, we hope (and will also work towards!) continuing to disprove these stereotypes that are holding women back.


There is definitely a movement and awareness about this topic that is developing strongly. We are excited to see how it continues to grow through participation by both sexes, showing the true face of female scientists, and so many other interesting movements and associations that are promoting the cause!


To start this New Year, we want to keep Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn’s words in mind: “doing science is also letting the imagination be open to new ideas and lateral leaps that might at first seem outlandish. Women and men can be creative in different ways. Research needs to be able to roam freely and explore ways of thinking that are not necessarily obvious from the start.”


What other goals and advancements would you like to see women in science accomplish in 2015? Let us know on Twitter @4womeninscience!

L’Oréal–UNESCO
For Women in Science

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