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2nd International Day of Women and Girls in Science: a conference review by Emer Emily Neenan and Áine O Neill

09/05/2017

Held in United Nations Headquarters (New York, US) on 10 February 2017, the second Commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science focused on the theme of “Gender, Science and Sustainable Development: The Impact of Media”. A parallel event was held simultaneously in Valetta, Malta.

In their article titled “Addressing the impact of the media on the gender gap in science: 2nd Commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science conference review”, Emer Emily Neenan, researcher in geoscience education in Ireland at the Department of Education, Trinity College Dublin, and Áine O Neill, lecturer in Biosciences in IT Carlow, provide JCOM readers with a detailed description of the topic addressed, a gender breakdown of attendees and speakers, and information on discussions and suggestions which have emerged.

According to the authors, although “The contribution of the media to socio-cultural barriers facing girls and women in STEM were well-illustrated”, and gender diversity was well represented within speakers (especially in terms of female scientists and media representatives, while it was less the case for diplomats, most whom were men), the conference had some points for improvement. According to Neenan and O Neill, “the format of the conference did not allow for much discussion or debate”, but also “many of the speeches re-tread similar ground”, as most of them agreed on the importance of giving equal opportunities in science to women and men. Finally, according to the authors, “few speakers proposed specific actionable solutions to the socio-cultural barriers that women in science face”, some of which are summarized in their conference review.