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Women in Science

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Video clip: Daniela thinks that people tend to not notice the contributions women make to science

Why do you think that is?

That’s a good question. It’s a topic that brings always a certain sort of a strange conversation with people because people will tell you, “Well if you look at nursing, there is a majority of women in nursing.” It’s not 50:50. Do you want to be 50:50 in physics? And I don’t want 50, I don’t think that there is a magic number that you have to aim to that is 50:50. What I see around me often is that the field is not level. Even today we were discussing in a meeting, a possible speaker for a Christmas lecture in the physics department and I mentioned, “Oh we should invite a female professor from Glasgow who is a leader of the most important discovery of the year which was the discovery of gravitational waves,” and then somebody else, “Oh well maybe we could invite somebody else,” and then they picked as a possible speaker a man working on gravitational waves.

And you would say that if you have a good woman who has really made a big impact, you should consider her. This is just an example and it’s in my mind because it happened at lunchtime at a meeting. But I think that if I was not in the room only the men’s names would have come up. I think this is important. I don’t think that people do it purposely but men tend to not notice as much of the contribution of women.

I feel that we must aim at having this level playing field and we’re not there yet.