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Women in Science

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Video clip: In Carolyn’s department (Physiology) they plan to replace some of the images of ‘Victorian men’ with more appropriate scientific images.

So you say you were involved with Athena SWAN?


Quite heavily involved?

Yes at the moment it’s fairly full on because we’re about to write the whole application.

And do you think it’s made a difference to your department?

Yes, definitely. I mean I think it’s quite fascinating the way; so because now it’s been announced that in order to get funding, departments have to have silver Athena SWAN, all these departments are now falling over themselves to get silver Athena SWAN. And I think it is, it just makes people think. So obviously on the committee we think about it quite a lot, but then at the staff meetings there’s always an Athena SWAN report, and we’re doing things like, I mean we’re doing sort of trivial things, not trivial, but changing all the pictures around the department.

We’ve got, I mean I knew we’d got a lot of photos of men and paintings and whatever, but we went and did, I went with my colleague and did a sort of look around the whole department. Up our stairs there are paintings of pen and ink drawings of Goethe. Now why is Goethe on the stairs of a physiology department? I’ve no idea what he’s doing there. But all the way up the stairs there are these old Victorian type pictures of men, who it now turns out have absolutely nothing to do with physiology or anything, and so we’re having a competition in the department and the students are going to put forward, so we’re not necessarily going to replace the men with women, but we’re going to put up scientific images, rather than pictures of men.