Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Did you know that 44% of all scientists in Ireland are female?
Today, Saturday 11th February is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office has published figures which show that nearly 41 per cent of all scientists in the EU are female and Ireland is doing better than the average.
In Ireland there are approx. 280 thousand scientists in the country in total; enough to fill the Aviva stadium nearly five and a half times.
Nearly 44% of these are female, just above the EU average but is still some way behind the highest percentages reported, which were in Lithuania (52%) and Bulgaria, Latvia and Portugal (all 51%)
As Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Working Group on Science and Technology our members are promoting engagement with scientists and encouraging more women to choose it as a career
There are lots of inspiring women scientists. For example:
Professor Christine Loscher who completed her PhD in Immunology at NUI, Maynooth in 2000 and then moved to Trinity College Dublin to pursue her postdoctoral studies. She continued her research at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at St James Hospital and was then appointed to a permanent academic position at Dublin City University in 2005. She currently leads the Immunomodulation Research Group at DCU which looks at the effect that changes to the immune system has on health and also works in the Food for Health Ireland Technology Centre in UCD. Some of her many achievements are; being named in Silicon Republic’s top 100 Women in STEM in 2004, speaking at InspireFest and delivering a TEDx talk on the Future of Food and being named as one of Silicon Republic’s “22 high-flying scientists making the world a better place in 2019”. She is currently Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Science & Health at DCU and a full Professor of Immunology. She established the DCU Covid-19 Research & Innovation Hub which is continuing to look for solutions in the fight against Covid-19.
There are lots more inspirational women in science; if you want to read some their stories go to the website of European Platform of Women Scientists – https://epws.org.
An example is Dr. Bethany Elora Higgins, a research fellow at University College London, City, University of London and Anglia Ruskin University was the winner of the European Platform of Women Scientists’ Woman of the Month in January 2023. She is passionate about science and her work to help people with vision impairment and age-related macular degeneration. She agrees that there are still gender inequalities in her branch of science, ophthalmology and mentions a 2016 report in the UK, which showed that 74% of consultants in the area were male. She does say that there are people who are determined to make a difference and that attitudes towards gender inequality in science are changing.
More details available here – https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/en/web/products-eurostat-news/w/ddn-20230210-1