February 09, 2022
10 new short films telling the stories of women scientists will be premiered during the festival.
Einstein, Watson & Crick, Hawking, Curie: When scientific stories and personalities make it into the media, they are often focused on the same few household names or on the most revolutionary discoveries. Rarely do we get to learn about the people doing the important, everyday research that leads to those discoveries or on those who are solving local problems.
Most films and media we see about scientists have something else in common – they are, more often than not, about men. This is, in part, because there are more of them; despite efforts to close the gender gap in STEM, women’s participation in science remains low, with women making up less than 30% of researchers worldwide. The reasons for this are diverse and complex, but one reason many women cite for not choosing scientific careers is a lack of visible role models.
With the Women in Science Film Festival, ISC and OWSD hope to bring to light stories of inspirational women scientists around the world, women whose research is advancing knowledge and changing lives. From a computational physicist using magnetic refrigeration to help preserve food security in rural Kenya, to the software engineers fighting against gender bias in artificial intelligence, to a marine biologist trying to protect Ecuador’s aquatic animals from climate change, these are stories that deserve to be seen, shared, and celebrated.
The films featured are the result of two separate projects:
The OWSD Visions project, in which OWSD video consultant Nicole Leghissa worked with local filmmakers in developing countries to help them tell the story of women scientists in their communities. The six new films premiering as fart of this festival are part of the second round of the project. The first round of films can be viewed on OWSD’s YouTube channel.
The Unlocking Science project produced by the International Science Council and BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions. It features stories of science for sustainability and impact, looking beyond the lightbulb moment at the reality of the individuals and teams working to transform our societies and preserve our plant. These researchers come from across the world and work with a range of research institutions in a variety of disciplines. Some of these stories, featuring women in science, have been selected for the film festival.
The festival will also include a panel discussion on Case Studies: Approaches to Storytelling in Science, from 15:00-16:15 CET on February 11. OWSD Coordinator Tonya Blowers will moderate a panel of communications and storytelling experts involved with both projects:
- Megan Lloyd-Laney — Director, CommsConsult
- Nick Ishmael-Perkins — Senior consultant, Public Value of Science programme
- Nicole Leghissa — Filmmaker, Coordinator OWSD Visions project
- Sudin Bajracharya — Filmmaker, Founder, Kathacharya Productions
Registration is available for the panel discussion at: https://bit.ly/ISCOWSD2022
On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, February 11, let us celebrate together these inspiring stories, as well as those of all of the women in science making equally important contributions to the critical issues that we face.