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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

CDT News

Durham CDT in Energy student features as female role model in science calendar

(18 October 2012)

Alison Auld (left), credit Ben Gilbert/ScienceGrrl.

Durham University is showcased as part of an innovative project to highlight the range and diversity of career opportunities available to women in science.

Today will see the launch of a calendar to raise money for projects that break down gender stereotypes and encourage young women and girls to see science as an enriching, exciting and productive career choice.

Picture: Alison Auld (left), credit Ben Gilbert/ScienceGrrl.

Durham University PhD student, Alison Auld, a CDT student from the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, features in the calendar. She said: “I became involved in ScienceGrrl through Twitter. The thoughts and experiences shared in just 140 characters about women in science were inspiring.

“The real strength of ScienceGrrl is that it is driven by passionate and inspirational women scientists. We are real women doing real science and we want to show how exciting it is.”

Durham University is committed to tackling the unequal representation of women in science and is recognised for this by the Athena SWAN Charter which celebrates good employment practice for women working in this field.

ScienceGrrl Calendar 2013 showcases the real face of female scientists, with photographs that demonstrate the impact of their work. The careers shown are diverse: from solar cell chemist to Curator of Modern Physics. The calendar features thirteen fantastic images of scientists and science presenters including Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell and Tomorrow’s World’s Kate Bellingham.

In 2010, the UK Research Council reported that women form only 12.3 per cent of the skilled workforce in science, engineering and technology.

The calendar will be sold to raise funds for initiatives that will help girls and young women engage with STEM subjects and realise STEM careers. These include the development of Breakthrough, the gender stereotypes project, which aims to challenge gender stereotypes through tailored school lessons; funding places at the Mission Discovery summer school for young people - the majority who are girls - who would otherwise be unable to attend; and enabling teams of university science students to take part in the iGEM synthetic biology competition.

Founder and Director of ScienceGrrl Heather Williams said: “ScienceGrrl celebrates what female scientists are already doing and encourages girls and young women to follow in our footsteps - and achieve even greater things. The 13 images in the ScienceGrrl Calendar 2013 can only showcase a small part of the fascinating and valuable work undertaken by the diverse range of women in STEM, but it is a beautiful introduction to the female face of science.”