Science in Greenland: It’s a Girl Thing

Dartmouth Now

December 19, 2012

By Anne Adams

A one-minute video called Science: It’s a Girl Thing! showing scenes of sexy babes in short skirts and spike heels interspersed with scenes of a James Bond-look-alike “real scientist,” was posted on a European Commission (E.C.) website this summer, met with a collective icy stare, and quickly taken down.

The unfortunate video was part of a well-intentioned E.C. campaign to interest girls and young women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM") fields, and was posted on an otherwise commendable website. However, as one commentator noted in the New Statesman, “this kind of campaign insults women who are interested in science already and can more than hold their own with the boys.”

But who says a bad idea can’t lead to a good one? Science in Greenland: It’s a Girl Thing, a video created by a group of Dartmouth women graduate students [including engineering PhD candidate Stephanie Gregory] who did field work in Greenland this past summer, is, well, a bit more to the point:

As the students, all Cohort 3 fellows in the IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) program in polar environmental change, explain on their blog, “The discussion in Greenland amongst Cohort 3 about the video and the role of women in science inspired us to make our own version of Science: It’s a Girl Thing!”...

...“We’re really proud and excited that we can go to these amazing places,” says IGERT fellow Lee Corbett, “and we’re proud that we can show what we do, and that we can share that with other women who are interested in pursuing a career in science.”

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