How many famous scientists can you name? Try it
Maybe your list includes Einstein, Hawking, Newton, Darwin, Fahrenheit, Boyle, Turing, Edison, Bohr, Tesla… but how many in your list were women?
Perhaps you named Ada Lovelace, Rosalind Franklin or Marie Curie? Well done if you did!
It’s a telling point though that most of our most recognised scientists are men and the achievements of many highly influential women scientists has been ‘air-brushed’ from history. Only 53 women have received the Nobel Prize or Prize in Economic Sciences (out of almost 500 awarded). On occasion women have appeared to be overlooked when the award has been made to male colleagues working on the same project, such as in the case of Lise Meitner and Rosalind Franklin and only in 2014 did Maryam Mirzakhani become the first woman to be awarded The Fields Medal, one of the most prestigious prizes in mathematics.
The contribution made by women in scientific discovery and advancement has been significant but the lack of recognition means that our young women often have difficulty in identifying aspirational role models in STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) disciplines.
The explicit integration of Art into the STEM curriculum helps students develop transferable skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration and communication, which will be highly valued in the workforce as they take up jobs and careers in areas we haven’t even thought of yet. This will open many new and exciting pathways for both women and men.
"STEAM is more than just the traditional science, technology, engineering, arts and maths subjects on their own - they're opportunities where subjects combine to form interesting new subjects such as bio-engineering and biotechnology," explains John Durant, MIT Adjunct professor.
So how do we encourage our young women to take STEAM subjects and what are the career opportunities for them?
We are delighted to be welcoming a panel of distinguished women from the University of Dundee on Friday 14th February to discuss this important topic.
- Kirsty Macari is a Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Planning in the School of Social Sciences. Kirsty’s specialities and fields of expertise include urban design, planning, built heritage, programme management and collaboration. She will be talking to our audience about 'The importance of mentors'
- Jackie Malcolm is both a practitioner and lecturer. She established the successful Graphic Design consultancy ARC Visual Communications Ltd in 1999 and continues to produce creative and effective marketing solutions for national clients alongside teaching within Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. She will be speaking on ‘Career path’
- Dr Rachel Menzies is currently a Senior Lecturer and Associate Professor at the University of Dundee in Computing. Rachel began her studies at the University of Glasgow, undertaking an undergraduate Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacology. Rachel will be considering 'Something I would do differently in my career'
- Professor Kim Dale is a research scientist in the School of Life Sciences and a Professor of Developmental Molecular Biology as well as the University Academic Regional Lead for ASEAN, and Associate Dean International for the School of Life Sciences. Kim did undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in England and then did a post doctorate degree in France and the USA before coming to Dundee to establish her own research group in 2005 as a Royal Society University Research Fellow. Kim will be discussing a topic relevant across all professions, that of 'Work life balance'
- Professor Zhihong Huang is currently a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Associate Dean of International in the School of Science and Engineering. She will be considering 'The challenges in STEAM for men and women'
The Panel session will be part of a wider day of STEAM related activities where our students will have the opportunity to participate in workshops with the team from the University of Dundee in a range of subjects including Life Science, Art & Design, Computing Science, Architecture and Engineering, as well as a host of cross curricular opportunities bringing diverse subjects such as science and drama together.
View photos from the panel here and also those from our 'Women in STEM' drama event, which showcased some of the contributions made by women in STEM through monologues written and performed by our GCSE and A Level students.