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Science: It’s Virginia’s Thing

2012/09/20

Many in the world of science communication were less than impressed by the launch video for the EU’s “Science: it’s a girl thing” campaign. After the initial backlash, however, it was pointed out that many other aspects of the project itself seemed quite positive and “on-message” about getting women -all women- into science.

The European Commission listened to the feedback and quickly took down the offending video. There were a few other changes. The logos, for instance, are now blue and green, rather than pink (although they still feature the lipstick). This is encouraging, and it would also appear that the changes aren’t just cosmetic. Indeed, what follows is an example of “Science: It’s a girl thing” getting it right – letting real women in science speak for themselves.

From the project’s Facebook page:

Do you have burning questions about science or what it’s like to be a scientist? “Science: It’s a girl thing!” is hosting a series of science chats where you get the chance to put all of your questions to inspiring women scientists live on Facebook! Join other young women from across Europe online and meet the scientists who are changing our world! Virginia Greco from Italy invites you to join her live on Facebook for the next installment in our ‘Ask an inspiring scientist!’ series on Thursday 20th September 17.00 – 18.00 CET. Virginia, who is an engineer and a physicist working at CERN, Switzerland, will chat about the way physics and electronics enter our every-day life, and how the study of such subjects raise our awareness and can affect positively the way we think and act. Join Virginia and young women across Europe on this page for an international, interactive Q&A session!

Thursday 20th September 17:00-18:00 - as I write this, that’s in a couple of hours! Another cool thing about this? Virginia will be taking questions in both English and Italian. Science is multilingual, after all.

If you can’t make it to the live Q&A session

We’re delighted to announce that Virginia Greco, a 34 year old Electronics Engineer at CERN in Switzerland, will be managing the ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ Facebook page all week.
Virginia, from Lecce in southern Italy, is passionate about her work in research but also finds time to study theatre and pursue her interest in radio journalism, politics, ecology and international cooperation.
At CERN, she is part of a team in charge of the design and installation of electronics for data acquisition.
We look forward to Virginia’s input and insights!

As for her input, here’s what Virginia had to say about the science she works with:

Physics and electronics are incredibly fascinating. They give you tremendous tools, which allow you to understand much more about the world we live in, and how technology works. You get an analytic mindset that then you apply in your everyday-life. And that’s cool, besides being helpful.

You can read more about women at CERN, including Virginia, at this link.

I, for one, welcome our new positive-female-role-model overlords.

(Full disclosure: Virginia and I are colleagues in the Knowledge Transfer Group at CERN).

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