Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the diversity of all staff in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and aims to address gender, race and sexual orientation inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of certain groups in senior roles.

Friday, 28 November 2014

In the news - so many choices!

What a day - news stories from all corners reporting on everything from creating a happier workforce to recognising women's efforts to the effect of going through an Athena SWAN application from someone who thought he was doing all the right things.

Women who helped crack the Enigma code and create the first computers at Bletchley Park, including Joyce Wheeler, one of the first academics to use the Edsac computer, would have been thrilled to see the rebuilt Edsac being turned on today at the Museum of Computing.

Dr Tom Solomon, whose department recently applied for an Athena SWAN award, discusses how the process opened his eyes to the need to support and celebrate women in science and technology.

Researchers from Andalusia have considered the effect of postdoctoral mobility requirements on a cohort of 5000 PhD holders, with a particular emphasis on variations between disciplines and eventual career outcomes for men and women.

For those who doubt the impact those in leadership positions can have on those working under them, this report documents how small changes can have a dramatic effect on interpersonal relationships.

A talk by Prof. Michelle Ryan (Exeter/Groningen) in Glasgow on 3 December, entitled 'How to help women into leadership roles,' will argue that current organisational solutions focus on time and flexible working practices, which may do little to address gender imbalances and may even make them worse.

And finally, UoP senior lecturer Claire Sambrook has won the Woman of the Year award, organised by local newspaper The News.

In the news - Sexism is daily reality for girls, says Girlguiding

Sexism is so widespread in the UK that it affects "most aspects" of the lives of girls and young women, a report from Girlguiding says.
"Sexual harassment is commonplace, girls' appearance is intensively scrutinised and their abilities are undermined," says the report.
The report Equality for Girls is based on a survey of more than 1,200 girls and young women aged seven to 21.
Girlguiding chief executive Julie Bentley called it a "wake-up call".
She said: "This cannot be dismissed as something that girls and young women just have to deal with as they grow up."
Girls needed to live in an equal society if they were to flourish and fulfil their potential to be leaders in all walks of life, added Ms Bentley.
The survey of a representative sample of girls and young women, both Guides and non-Guides, gives "a disturbing insight into the state of equality for girls in the UK", says Girlguiding, which has more than half a million members. 

Judith Burns, BBC News, 23 November 2013
Read more here.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Athena Swan - December Committee Meeting

Dear all,

The Athena Swan committee members of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth will meet again on Thursday, the 18th of Dec. 2014. Any staff member interested in participating, please feel free to attend. The meeting details and agenda are:   

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Portsmouth
  Athena Swan Committee Meeting

Thursday, 18th Dec. 2014, 10.30 - 11.30 am, Location:  BB1.25

 1. Apologies

2. Welcome to new members

3. Review of the SEES Athena Swan Bronze award draft application 

University Athena SWAN conference

The next Athena SWAN conference will be taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday 4 March 2015, so please save the date.
The third annual conference will have the theme ‘Building Success’ with key note speakers from the fields of architecture, engineering and technology.
Athena SWAN promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Read more on Staff Essentials.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

In the news - Ed Miliband promises to train up thousands of female engineers

Thousands of female engineers will be trained up as part of a 'national mission' to get Britain building again, Ed Miliband announced today.
The Labour leader said it was a 'national embarrassment' that just one in 25 engineers were women.
He pledged to ensure an extra 400,000 engineers were trained up by 2020 - with a Labour source promising a 'significant increase' in the proportion of women.

By Tom McTague, Daily Mail, 24 November 2014
Read more here.

Monday, 24 November 2014

In the news - Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried

Young women scientists leave academia in far greater numbers than men for three reasons. During their time as PhD candidates, large numbers of women conclude that (i) the characteristics of academic careers are unappealing, (ii) the impediments they will encounter are disproportionate, and (iii) the sacrifices they will have to make are great.
This is the conclusion of The chemistry PhD: the impact on women's retention, a report for the UK Resource Centre for Women in SET and the Royal Society of Chemistry. In this report, the results of a longitudinal study with PhD students in chemistry in the UK are presented.
Read more here.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

In the news - 5 practical things that men can do for gender equality at work

I can't put it any better than the opening lines of this article:

There is no shortage of advice for women who want a more level playing field at work:
We should learn to accept criticism, stop apologizing, change our tone of voice, learn how to negotiate, sit at the table, and "lean in," yet still find that elusive work-life balance at the same time.
But we will never reach equality with only one gender putting forth all the effort.
In fact, studies have shown that the best people to promote both gender and racial diversity at work are . . . white men.

Read more here.

In the news - Hundreds of PhD students chasing every early career post

Something we all know, but useful to see quantified - especially when the jump from PhD to post-doc is one of the biggest leaks in the pipeline for all underrepresented groups.

As many as 200 applicants are chasing every early career post at top universities, an investigation by Times Higher Education has shown.
Despite many universities recently starting their own flagship schemes to recruit top PhD students, competition for a limited number of postdoctoral research posts remains fierce, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
Many of the fixed-term research posts advertised by universities, which are viewed as a stepping stone to a permanent academic job, receive hundreds of applications for a handful of posts, our data reveal.

Read more here.

In the news - Ten Simple Rules to Achieve Conference Speaker Gender Balance

For those who think gender balance is all too much like hard work, here are ten ways a few small changes can make big improvements at one of the most public science stages - conferences:

Recently, the quantum molecular science world was in uproar [1], [2]. The preliminary list of approximately 25 speakers for the International Congress of Quantum Chemistry (ICQC) was published online, with no women speakers listed. One reaction to this list was to set up a petition to “condemn gender-biased discriminatory practices of which ICQC-2015 is the most recent example” [3]. This resulted in an apology and a new speaker list with six women speakers [4].
Sadly though, this is not an isolated incident: men-only invited conference speaker lists are all too common [5].
How can we get gender balance right? To begin with, it's worth reminding ourselves why gender balance is important.

Read more here.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New Athena Swan SEES committee member

We would like to welcome a new Athena Swan (AS) committee member, Miss Orla.Bath-Enright,
PhD Researcher in School of Earth & Environmental Sciences. Orla's is in charge with the Co-Development of the Action Plan.

Emmy Noether Visiting Fellowships

Amalie Emmy Noether, an influential German mathematician known for her ground-breaking contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics, was regarded by Albert Einstein as the most important woman in the history of mathematics.
In honour of Noether’s genius and legacy, Perimeter Institute invites applications for Emmy Noether Visiting Fellowships from outstanding theoretical physicists who wish to pursue research at the institute while on leave from their faculty positions at home institutes.

Perimeter Institute promotes an inclusive, welcoming culture and a family-friendly workplace. The Emmy Noether Fellowships are central to Perimeter Institute's initiatives to support female physicists.

Applications for Emmy Noether Visiting Fellowships are now being accepted. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2015.

Read more here.

In the news - Gender pay gap shrinks to record low, says ONS

The average full-time pay gap between men and women is at its narrowest since comparative records began in 1997, official figures show.
The difference stood at 9.4% in April compared with 10% a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, a gap of about £100 a week.
However, the change was the result of men's wages dropping faster than women's in real terms.
The gender pay gap in 1997 was 17.4%, the ONS said.

BBC News, 19 November 2014
Read more here.

In the news - Academia for women: short maternity leave, few part-time roles and lower pay

Equality Challenge Unit figures reveal a dismal picture for female academics with the continued dominance of men in the sector.

Sophia Latham, 39, has just been appointed to a tenure track fellowship at the Institute of Infection and Global Health at Liverpool University. After five years, if all goes to plan, she will end up with a permanent job. What makes her promotion unusual is that Latham was appointed to the role on a part-time basis only a few weeks after returning to work from maternity leave. “I haven’t seen this kind of prestigious role offered part-time anywhere else,” she says. “Normally if you are looking for a part-time position, you are looking at term-time teaching roles.”
Latham is one of the lucky ones. Female academics find it disproportionately difficult to juggle their career and parenthood. Fewer professors, lecturers and researchers at some leading universities are taking maternity leave than in 2010, while at others there has been little or no improvement.
If more women were being promoted into staff and senior jobs, the numbers taking maternity leave would rise. Instead they are stagnating, or, worryingly, in some cases, falling. That’s the finding of new research by Education Guardian and comes as figures published on Tuesday reveal a persistent pay gap, the continued dominance of men in senior roles, and very few permanent part-time academic jobs.

By: Anna Bawden, The Guardian, 18 November 2014
Read more here.  

In the news - White males monopolise best paid jobs in UK universities, report shows

White males are clinging on to the best paid jobs in universities, while equality initiatives are struggling to gain ground, according to a study by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU).
Data collected last academic year by the ECU, a charity that advises universities on diversity issues, suggests that 78.3% of professors are men, while only 4% of black academic staff are professors.
“Universities need to be focusing on specific areas of action if we are going to transform the culture of higher education into one that is fair, inclusive, and offers the same chances to everyone,” said David Ruebain, chief executive of ECU.

In the news - Postdoc Mentorship Can Launch Careers

Efforts to increase the number of women entering STEM subjects mean ever more women attain higher degrees in these areas, but the number who then continue into permanent academic or research posts is still woefully few. Mentoring is often offered to permanent staff, who are seen as a long-term investment, but what about schemes for contract workers? New research suggests the benefits of mentoring schemes greatly outweigh the effort required to set them up, for both mentor and mentee. Indeed, a clear mentoring plan is now required for postdocs by many grant bodies, including the NSF and IRC. So how does this work in practice? One scheme is described in this article from American Scientist:

The postdoctoral experience has become integral to building a career in science. The number of postdocs in science, engineering, and mathematics in the United States has grown from fewer than 20,000 in 1980 to upward of 60,000. At the same time, the number of years a newly minted PhD seeking a tenure-track job spends in a postdoc has increased—in many fields to well over three years. The importance of the postdoc phase to a mathematician’s or scientist’s career has, on the whole, become much greater. Even though 80 percent of postdocs are at academic institutions, only one out of five landed a tenure-track job in 2012, according to a recent poll by Science’s blog Careers. The unsettling nature of this statistic resonates with my own experience as a postdoc in mathematics at Duke University. In particular, I remember facing the exhaustion of a recent PhD-writing adventure coupled with the stress of an uncertain future. 

By: Rachel Levy, Nov-Dec 2014
Read more here.

Monday, 17 November 2014

In the news - Managers Tell Women in Tech They Are “Abrasive” and Need to “Step Back” to “Let Others Shine”

Ah yes, the old double standards problem - according to some, if women pushed themselves harder they'd achieve as much as men, but those who stand their ground are pushy, aggressive or abrasive... Unconscious bias strikes again?

Kieran Snyder had heard about women in the tech word being judged more harshly than their male colleagues for the same traits and wanted to know "how often this perception of female abrasiveness undermines women’s careers." So she asked a group of men and women in tech to share their performance reviews with her, without telling them what the study was for. "The question I wanted to answer was: Did review tone or content differ based on the employee’s gender," Snyder writes in Fortune. It turns out that not only did gender matter, it appears to have mattered a lot, enough to shock even me, a jaded feminist.

By: Amanda Marcotte, 28 August 2014
Read more here.

In the news - Executive Women, Finding (and Owning) Their Voice

Assertiveness - the ability to make your needs and wishes heard amongst the clatter of other people's - is essential in competitive environments, but often viewed as 'aggressive' or 'inappropriate' in women (see also this story for more). Four executives reflect on how they developed this skill to find and assert their voices in the hyper-competitive world of business, rising to positions of great power and authority. 

What does it mean for women to have a “voice” in meetings? How can they navigate perceptions around assertiveness, particularly when they are often judged more harshly than men? And is much of the conversation around women and leadership really just about power?

These are just a few of the themes that arose during interviews with four executives about the challenges they have faced at work over the years and the advice they would give to other women about surviving and thriving in the workplace.

Read more here.

Friday, 14 November 2014

What makes a Portsmouth female entrepreneur?

Wednesday 19 November,  5.00pm–7.00pm, Purple Door

Female entrepreneurship takes centre-stage this November as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) launches on 19 November, 2014. Alongside that event, the University of Portsmouth is facilitating an event around entrepreneurship for women in the City. This event will attempt to celebrate the success of female business women in the City and inspire more to take up the mantle.

In the news - Why women leave academia and why universities should be worried

Report reveals that only 12% of third year female PhD students want a career in academia. Curt Rice looks at the reasons why and warns that universities' survival is at risk.  
Young women scientists leave academia in far greater numbers than men for three reasons. During their time as PhD candidates, large numbers of women conclude that (i) the characteristics of academic careers are unappealing, (ii) the impediments they will encounter are disproportionate, and (iii) the sacrifices they will have to make are great.

Read more here.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

In the news - No sexism in science? Not so fast, critics say

There has never been a better time for American women to enter academic careers in math-intensive science fields. That's the message Cornell University psychologist Stephen Ceci says he was hoping to get across in an op-ed he and Wendy Williams, also a Cornell psychologist, recently published in The New York Times. But the 31 October article, based on an extensive study of U.S. government data and the existing literature, left some readers unconvinced and others outright angry. The op-ed ran under a provocative headline: "Academic Science Isn't Sexist." The outcry on blogs and Twitter was swift. But some accepted the authors' findings about how women are faring in physics, math, engineering, and similar fields, while rejecting their optimistic analysis. 

Read more here.

Invitation - SET for BRITAIN

From Andrew Miller MP
Chairman, Parliamentary and Scientific Committee

SET for BRITAIN 2015

Dear Scientist, Engineer or Mathematician

I am writing on behalf of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee to alert you to a major scientific competition and exhibition in Parliament and encourage you to take part. SET for BRITAIN will be held in the House of Commons on Monday 9 March 2015 between noon and 9 pm as a prelude to National Science and Engineering Week 2015.

The day will be divided into three sessions. Applications are invited from early-career research scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians who wish to exhibit posters in one of the following five areas:
                                    Biological and Biomedical Science
                                    Mathematical Sciences

A wide range of important scientific, engineering and mathematics institutions are lending their support to this event, including the Society of Biology, The Physiological Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Council for the Mathematical Sciences, the Clay Mathematics Institute, and the Institute of Physics. This reflects the importance we all attach to the encouragement of researchers at this stage in their careers.

Prizes will be awarded for the posters presented in each discipline which best communicate high level science, engineering or mathematics to a lay audience. The Westminster Medal for the overall winner will be awarded in memory of the late Dr Eric Wharton, who did so much to establish SET for BRITAIN as a regular event in the Parliamentary calendar. Full details of the competition and exhibition including the application form can be found on the SET for BRITAIN website at: I very much hope that you will apply to take part yourself or will encourage your early-career colleagues to do so.

With Best Wishes
Andrew Miller MP

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

In the news - Joan Clarke, woman who cracked Enigma cyphers with Alan Turing

Joan Clarke's ingenious work as a codebreaker during WW2 saved countless lives, and her talents were formidable enough to command the respect of some of the greatest minds of the 20th Century, despite the sexism of the time.
But while Bletchley Park hero Alan Turing - who was punished by a post-war society where homosexuality was illegal and died at 41 - has been treated more kindly by history, the same cannot yet be said for Clarke.
The only woman to work in the nerve centre of the quest to crack German Enigma ciphers, Clarke rose to deputy head of Hut 8, and would be its longest-serving member.

BBC News, 10 November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

In the news - Science careers not 'the preserve of men'

Teenaged girls must not be allowed to feel that maths and science subjects are "the preserve of men", says England's Education Secretary.
Nicky Morgan says only by tackling "tired stereotypes" about science careers will the gender pay gap between men and women be "eliminated".
She highlighted that fewer than one in five girls who get an A* in physics GCSE go on to study it at A-level.
Ms Morgan is backing a campaign to boost the take-up of science A-levels.

BBC News, 10 November 2014

All-staff Athena Swan meeting this Wednesday

All staff Athena Swan focus group - Burnaby 4.05, 12th November, 1-2 pm

As part of the School's Athena SWAN application, we are holding two focus groups to gather feedback on current conditions, ongoing concerns and suggestions for future progress. The first of these was for female staff, identifying both examples of good practice and issues in need of further work. Now it's time to discuss these points as a School, so all members - PhD students, technical, office, research and academic staff - can have their say. The meeting will be held in Burnaby 4.05 from 1-2pm on the 12th November, and will be introduced by Jeanette Faulkner, Athena SWAN Coordinator for the University.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

In the news

Our ‘Mommy’ Problem - NY Times, 8 November 2014

WHEN I hear someone telling an expectant mother that having a baby will turn her into a new person, I can’t help but imagine a pathologically optimistic weather forecaster brightly warning that an oncoming tornado is about to give a town “an extreme makeover.” Becoming a mother doesn’t change you so much as violently refurbish you, even though you’re still the same underneath it all.
That can be hard to remember when teachers, coaches, pediatricians and strangers alike suddenly stop addressing you by your name, or even “ma’am” or “lady,” and start calling you “Mom.” You’ll feel like a new person, all right — a new person you don’t necessarily know or recognize.
Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated — or perhaps demoted — to the realm of lifestyle, an all-encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life.

Read more here.

In the news

Why It's Crucial to Get More Women Into Science - National Geographic, 7 November 2014
By: Marguerite Del Giudice

Amid growing signs that gender bias has affected research outcomes and damaged women's health, there’s a new push to make science more relevant to them.
James Gross, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has a 13-year-old daughter who loves math and science. It hasn't occurred to her yet that that's unusual, he says. "But I know in the next couple of years, it will."
She's already being pulled out of class to do advanced things "with a couple of other kids, who are guys," he says. And as someone who studies human emotion for a profession, Gross says, "I know as time goes on, she'll feel increasingly lonely as a girl who's interested in math and science"—and be at risk of narrowing her choices in life before finding out how far she could have gone.

Read more here.

In the news

Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma - NY Times, 7 November 2014
By: Claire Cain Miller

Five months after Todd Bedrick’s daughter was born, he took some time off from his job as an accountant. The company he works for, Ernst & Young, offered paid paternity leave, and he decided to take six weeks — the maximum amount — when his wife, Sarah, went back to teaching. He learned how to lull the fitful baby to sleep on his chest and then to sit very still for an hour to avoid waking her. He developed an elaborate system for freezing and thawing his wife’s pumped breast milk. And each day at lunchtime, he drove his daughter to the elementary school where Sarah teaches so she could nurse. When she came home at the end of the day, he handed over the baby and collapsed on the couch.

Read more here.

In the news

Women Count - EOS, 4 November 2014
By: Dana M. Hurley

I am a counter by nature. I count things as an effective way to occupy my mind. How many people are in this room? How many are women? How many are wearing glasses? How many people are using a Mac versus a PC?

Read more here.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

In the news

Plan for specialist maths and science school in Glasgow - BBC News, 8 November 2014

A unique plan for a specialist centre to help teenagers in Glasgow study maths, science and technology has been revealed.

The hub, at a college in the city, will act as a centre of excellence for schools and pupils.

Part of the funding will come from former students of a now-closed school.

Read more here.

Engineer Your Future - Science Museum, London

Discover your potential to shape the world we live in through our new exhibition, Engineer Your Future, opening 17 December at the Science Museum, London. Discover the engineers who are developing, changing and shaping our futures and try your hand at the skills engineers use in extraordinary situations.

Read more here.

In the news

The WISE industry-led ten point plan for sustaining the pipeline of female talent in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM):

10 Steps

Read more here.

Friday, 7 November 2014

In the news

Evidence into practice: tackling domestic violence in universities and the workplace - Public Health England press release, 6 November 2014

Today Public Health England (PHE) launches 2 new initiatives to help tackle domestic violence and sexual harassment in universities and the workplace. 

PHE is holding an Evidence into Practice event, bringing together evidence-based research and exploring the issue of domestic violence.

The event looks ahead to the ‘16 Days of Action’ global campaign and will host the launch of 2 separate initiatives that aim to raise awareness and tackle the problem of domestic violence in the UK.

Read more here.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

In the news

Is academic science sexist? - Science, 06 November 2014
By: Rachel Bernstein

There has never been a better time for women to enter academic careers in math-intensive science fields. That’s the message Cornell University psychologist Stephen Ceci says he was hoping to get across in last Sunday’s controversial op-ed in The New York Times, “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” co-authored by Wendy Williams, also a psychologist at Cornell. But that’s not how the article, which attempts to summarize a 67-page paper they co-authored with economists Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and Shulamit Kahn of Boston University, came across to some readers. 

Read more here.

In the news

Reflections of a woman pioneer - Science, 7 November 2014
By: Vijaysree Venkatraman

In her career as a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus, who is now 83, has researched the electronic structure of carbon in its myriad forms. Dresselhaus was in Oslo for the Kavli awards ceremony this year. Science Careers caught up with her for a chat. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.  

Read more here.

New Twitter feed - @sees_swan

You can now find us on Twitter - tweet or follow us using the handle @sees_swan!

Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and Lecture

The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution to any area of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). 
The award is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is named in honour of the biophysicist Rosalind Franklin. The first award was made in 2003. 
The medal is of silver gilt and is accompanied by a grant of £30,000. The recipient of the award is expected to spend a proportion of the grant on implementing a project to raise the profile of women in STEM in their host institution and/or field of expertise in the UK. There are no restrictions on the age of nominees, though it is anticipated that the award will be made to an individual in mid-career, with a maximum of 20 years post PhD or equivalent.  The winner is also called upon to deliver a lecture at the Society. 

Read more here.

In the news

Gender balance among University Research Fellows - Royal Society In Verba, 24 September 2014
By: Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society

Last Friday the Royal Society announced the latest group of researchers to be awarded University Research Fellowships (URF). That is normally a highlight of the year as it gives a degree of long term security – 5 years of funding with the possibility to extend for a further 3 years – to scientists in the earlier stages of their career, with the potential to become leaders in their field. It was a great day for the 43 scientists who were awarded grants but I, like many Fellows, was personally very disappointed to see that only two of them were women.

Read more here.

In the news

A Resource to Raise Women's Visibility - Science, 30 June 2014
By: Beryl Lieff Benderly

COPENHAGEN—Surely, one reason women scientists are relatively rare on university faculties—in academic leadership posts such as department chairs and deans, on the programs of scientific meetings, as experts interviewed by the media, on boards, and in other prominent positions—is that women are less visible than men. They’re less visible because they get less publicity and attention than men, even if they are just as accomplished. 
AcademiaNet, a 4-year-old website sponsored by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a German charitable foundation, and the magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft, provides an antidote to women’s undeserved obscurity. The aim is to "increase the number of women in leading positions" in academe, government, industry, nonprofit organizations, and elsewhere by "rais[ing] the visibility" of outstanding women, said Ingrid W√ľnning Tschol, senior vice president for health and science at the Robert Bosch Stiftung, in a speech to the first European Conference for Science Journalists at the Euroscience Open Forum on 22 July.

Read more here.

University of Portsmouth Researcher Blog

From the About page:
This blog is an official website created by the University of Portsmouth.  It is for use by researchers who wish to blog about the subject expertise for which they are employed.  The purpose of the blog is to provide an online system for researchers to add to the information available online around their research expertise in a more fluid and informal style.

Find the blog here.

Exeter Athena Swan Video

Staff and students from the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, discuss the issues surrounding the lack of women in science and the improvements the Athena SWAN initiative can make.

Watch the video here.

In the news

Do you want to become a STEMNET Ambassador? - UoP News, 5 November 2014

Are you a student or member of staff who is passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and would like to inspire others?
If so, then why not become a STEMNET ambassador and join the network of over 26,000 brilliant and inspiring volunteers.
By joining the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network, co-ordinated by the Winchester Science Centre, you too can get involved in the many activities that take place to inspire young people of all backgrounds and abilities.
To become a STEMNET volunteer you will need to attend a compulsory training session, which STEMNET will be hosting at the University of Portsmouth, on Wednesday 19 November 2014, 1.00pm–3.30pm.

Read more here.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

In the news

Postdocs speak up - Science, 5 November 2014
By: Beryl Lieff Benderly

Scientific superstars Bruce Alberts (a former National Academy of Sciences president and former Science editor-in-chief), Marc W. Kirschner (founding chair of the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Systems Biology), Shirley Tilghman (former president of Princeton University), and Harold Varmus (Nobel laureate and current director of the National Cancer Institute) can claim scores of journal articles among them. But none, Varmus says, has received as much attention as a paper the four collaborated on earlier this year.
That paper, “Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was the focus of a session at the National Academy of Sciences’ annual meeting on 29 April, less than 2 weeks after it appeared. On the meeting’s last day, in a time slot when, most years, “things are over and people have gone home,” Varmus told the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), “well over 100 people” turned up at 7:30 in the morning not for the bagels but to discuss the four authors’ contention that today’s “hypercompetitive” and “unsustainable” biomedical enterprise requires “fundamental” reform.

Read more here.

In the news

Why women talk less at conferences - Nature, 4 November 2014
By: Chris Woolston

Conferences are a central part of scientific life, but they are also an arena for gender disparities, according to a study proving popular on social media. Another paper attracted attention online because it highlighted the value of showing up and presenting at meetings — for researchers of either gender.

Read more here.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

In the news

Tales of a Woman geologist - Geoscientist online special, April 2014
By: Sue Treagus

Current revelations in Britain that sexual harassment permeated the workings of many organisations in the past, will come as little surprise to women 'of a certain age', says Sue Treagus.
Those of us who attended university in the 1960s, and especially those who studied science or medicine, are unlikely to have escaped some awkward moments, or even feeling occasionally threatened or in danger. The dilemma was what to do about it, if anything. It might seem shocking to our sons and daughters, that there was little that could be done without marking oneself as a tell-tale or trouble-maker, putting one's studies or career in danger. Many will not understand why women are coming forward now, and saying they were abused, harassed, forced to accept sexual advances, or much worse, decades ago. Are painful recollections made in the hope of retribution, or valid just as important historical records? I recall a history professor telling me that the trouble with retelling history in TV dramas, is that the lay audience will judge the events from their current lives, and by today's standards. For the younger generation to understand what happened to women 40-50 years ago, we need to go back to what it was like at that time.

Read more here.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

In the news

Handling of Sexual Harassment Case Poses Larger Questions at Yale - NY Times, 1 November 2014
By: Tamar Lewin

NEW HAVEN — A sexual harassment case that has been unfolding without public notice for nearly five years within the Yale School of Medicine has roiled the institution and led to new allegations that the university is insensitive to instances of harassment against women.
The case involves a former head of cardiology who professed his love to a young Italian researcher at the school and sought to intervene in her relationship with a fellow cardiologist under his supervision.
A university committee recommended that he be permanently removed from his position, but the provost reduced that penalty to an 18-month suspension.

Read more here.