On February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was celebrated. As part of our work as researchers, as we have already mentioned in previous news, we also usually carry out dissemination tasks to bring science closer to the public.
In this case, our colleague Neus Rosell participated in a project led by the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) to share with primary school students the reality of the work of a scientist. The talks, which took place in different cities in Catalonia, were aimed at showing other references of scientists while being able to debate with students what science is and, above all, who does it.
Neus Rosell, who regularly participates in scientific dissemination activities, visited the school where she herself had completed her primary studies, and thus talk to the little ones about her own experience. She also spoke about the BiSC Project, environmental contamination, and the need to carry out studies with citizen participation. For the students, accustomed to thinking of science as “experiments with liquids and explosions”, reflecting on other ways of doing science was very enriching. In fact, part of the talk was based on jointly analyzing the previous work that the same boys and girls had done answering the question “What is science?”; and from here break stereotypes and talk about women scientists who have made history from different fields.
During the workshops, doubts arose about whether women also can be scientists, about what kind of experiments can be done, or whether scientists only work in laboratories. The BiSC Project is a great example of multidisciplinary research, since we have professionals from different fields such as epidemiology, gynecology, genetics, pediatrics, psychology, the study of statistical models, geolocation, among many others. In fact, of the 15+ people currently on the BiSC core team, only 3-4 do lab work!
Part of the task of educators is to show these other realities to broaden the conception of scientific work and allow more children to feel welcomed, especially girls who do not feel capable under a false perception that it is necessary to be “very intelligent”. As our colleague shared with them, not all of us have to be geniuses to do science, but rather have a lot of curiosity and make an effort, since science is based on asking questions and looking for answers to understand what surrounds us.
Today, March 8, on International Women’s Day, we publish this post to give voice, once again, to the situation of inequality suffered by many women. Because in science the voice of women is also fundamental and indispensable, and it is necessary that girls are encouraged to participate.
This post has been written by Neus Rosell, project manager at the BiSC Project.