To mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we have compiled a short list of amazing women in science that you need to follow on Twitter.
You could be forgiven for thinking that with so much talk around gender equality, things have improved for women in STEM.
Particularly when it comes to science, while the global community has made significant efforts in engaging with young women and girls in science, they continue to be excluded from participating fully.
Raising awareness is important and creating more visibility for women in STEM is a vital part of bringing more women into the talent pipeline.
According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability of female students graduating with a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in a science-related field are 18pc, 8pc and 2pc respectively.
When compared to probability for male students at 37pc, 18pc and 6pc respectively, it’s clear we still have a long way to go.
But this Sunday (11 February) is International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and there is no better time to celebrate some of the amazing women in science that you should be following on Twitter.
Dr Katie Mack (@AstroKatie)
Australian theoretical astrophysicist Katie Mack studies a range of questions in cosmology and is currently an assistant professor of physics at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Leadership in Public Science Cluster.
Q: “Are we talking about the superbluebloodmoon or some other sky thing?”
A: “Yes. All the sky things. They don’t mind what you call them; they are rocks and stars and gas. But we have the privilege to experience them and know their wonders. We should do that, when we can.”
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) January 30, 2018
Mack is also a fully fledged science communicator, having been published in a number of popular publications such as Scientific American, Slate, Time.com, and Cosmos Magazine.
Dr Claire Murray (@drclairemurray)
Crystallographer Dr Claire Murray always had a passion for maths and science, which transformed into chemistry. Currently, Murray works for Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility.
The recognition of Kathleen Lonsdale today gives me hope that we will celebrate past, present and future #WomenInSTEM in the same way #MenInSTEM are celebrated. Here's to a future of inclusive science and here's to Kathleen Lonsdale.
— Claire Murray (@drclairemurray) January 28, 2018
Murray is also a passionate advocate for gender equality in science, speaking highly of the recent Athena SWAN Charter and a Higher Education Authority requirement for institutions to have at least 40pc women representation across the board.
Laura Tobin (@choiceirregular)
Laura Tobin, also known as ‘Laser Laura’, is an engineer, PhD candidate and co-organiser of Dublin Maker. Tobin’s current research is in optical engineering and focuses on biomimetic photovoltaics and LED lighting for solar cell testing applications.
YES! Many activities in STEM have become competitive which leads to the same people taking part. There's definitely a divide in some cases. I've seen 1st hand how some STEM competitions have artificially raised the profiles of some people whilst ignoring others https://t.co/DEX4h3Q5uN
— Laurie (@choiceIrregular) January 2, 2018
Tobin’s work with lasers and lights have made her a glowing success and she’s a strong advocate for women in science.
Cara Santa Maria (@CaraSantaMaria)
As an award-winning journalist, Cara Santa Maria currently co-hosts and co-produces Fablab, a science television programme on Fox and weekly podcast Talk Nerdy. She co-founded the annual science communication ‘unconference’ SciCommCamp.
— Cara Santa Maria (@CaraSantaMaria) February 8, 2018
Prior to her career in science journalism, Santa Maria taught biology and psychology courses to students in Texas and New York.
Karen Church (@karenchurch)
Science covers such a broad range of skillsets and areas, that it wouldn’t make sense for us to only mention women in research or life sciences. As a data science leader, Karen Church knows all about the many ways data can be used in the world.
A former Inspirefest speaker, Church is a leading light in data science and knows the trends that are coming over the horizon.
Organizing @herplusdata definitely takes time & effort. I do it because I love it. I do it because I feel really passionate about supporting women in tech. I do it in the hope of inspiring more women to work in data science. I do it because of nights like tonight ❤️ https://t.co/wlOUAeZmZg
— Karen Church (@karenchurch) January 18, 2018
Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúillebháin (@aoibhinn_ni_s)
It would be remiss of us to leave Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúillebháin off this list when she has done so much in the realm of encouraging women in science.
Wonderful words from Michelle Simmons, quantum physicist & Australian of the Year. “We need to be teaching all students – girls and boys – to have high expectations of themselves.” https://t.co/wE1rcR33rV
— Aoibhinn (@aoibhinn_ni_s) January 27, 2018
Currently a lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at University College Dublin, Ní Shúillebháin is an advocate for women in mathematics, highlighting the problems within the STEM industry that create the gender gap.
Niamh Kavanagh (@NiamhTalking90)
While Niamh Kavanagh is currently a physics/photonics PhD candidate, she is also an award-winning science communicator. She is passionate about outreach and public engagement when it comes to science.
— Niamh Kavanagh (@NiamhTalking90) February 6, 2018
Kavanagh is also an incredibly passionate supporter and advocate for diversity, inclusion and equality in STEM.
Abigail Harrison (@AstronautAbby)
Abigail Harrison, also known as Astronaut Abby, is an incredible advocate for STEAM education, particularly when it comes to all things space. Harrison is also the founder of The Mars Generation, set up to excite young people and adults about space exploration.
As an #astrobiology major, I’ve been cultivating my gardening skills for awhile – but how do they shape up in the #winter? Find out in episode 4 of @TheMarsGen’s #Space & #Science Show #AskAbby series about space plants!
Watch NOW here: https://t.co/RdnjnK7uuN #DeSTEMchat #ISS pic.twitter.com/AgSdVCvWTZ
— Abigail Harrison (@AstronautAbby) February 8, 2018
Harrison is currently studying astrobiology and Russian while working towards her dream of becoming a scientist and astronaut.
Dr Norah Patten (@SpaceNorah)
Dr Norah Patten is a department chair at the International Space University, and a self-described space enthusiast. An entrepreneur and engineer, Patten is the founder of Planet Zebunar.
I might be smiling now – but the ejection seat, when used, produces more than 16 Gs which is enough to cause serious damage if you're not sitting in the correct position. pic.twitter.com/pc4vBPQn6e
— Norah Patten (@SpaceNorah) February 7, 2018
Patten is also a scientist-astronaut canidate for Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere). She is on track to become the first Irish person in space and is an inspiration to women in science.
Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla)
Emily Lakdawalla is an internationally admired science communicator and educator, passionate about advancing public understanding of space and sharing the wonder of scientific discovery.
I had to process a Voyager image today for reasons (related to the next article I'm writing for Sky & Telescope) and waaaaah I just want to do this all day pic.twitter.com/gKifgmbE3Z
— Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) February 8, 2018
Lakdawalla holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s degree in planetary geology. Her first book, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity: How the Mars Rover Performs Its Job, is due out in March 2018.
Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event connecting sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM. Get your Early bird tickets now to join us in Dublin on 21 and 22 June 2018.