Inspiring Stories – Women and Science Symposium 2015

It all started with a discussion my environmental scientist daughter and I had about the numbers of girls opting out of science and scientific careers because of the negative stereotypes. She said it was such a shame that girls by not considering science as option were locking themselves out of some amazing careers. We were talking at the time about some of the scientists I have worked with and have met here at the museum and some of the incredible experiences they have had. She commented, it is disappointing that those stories aren’t common knowledge and available to students making decisions about their future.

From that a small conversation an idea began to germinate, I ran it past a couple of my colleagues who all thought that could have potential. A little more research and contacting some possible speakers my idea of a Women and Science Symposium began to blossom. Another conversation with my daughter who again urged me to do this (or else!) and my idea has now taken on a life of its own.

A newsletter lead me to my final link to my day with how to guide students from school to university life and to employment opportunities through a inspiring conversation with UNSW Australia’s Veena Sahajwalla and the Science 50:50 program, who agreed to come and chair the day also bringing many of her industry partners and having the Sydney launch of Science 50:50.

Veena50-50 Credit - Tamara Dean
Veena Sahajwalla – Image Credit – Tamara Dean

The 11.30am panel chaired by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, features four scientists with a distinct maritime feel. (Well we are a Maritime Museum). Micheline Jenner from the Centre for Whale Research Western Australia, Dr Katy Croff Bell Expedition Leader Vice president and Chief Scientist Ocean Exploration Trust USA via video link and Dr Katherine Dafforn and Dr Inke Falkner both from Sydney Institute of Marine Science. The panellists will discuss their work and different experiences as well as inviting questions from students.

After the first panel presentation, students who visit the come to the museum will be offered a behind the scene, tour of the ANMM conservation lab with conservator Rebecca Dallwitz. The 1.30pm session will feature the launch of Science 50:50 a program that aims to inspire young women to pursue degrees and careers in science and technology so they can succeed in an innovation driven future. Science 50:50 makes the simple point – since half the population is female, why not half the scientists and technologists? By informing and engaging young women with the power of science and technology to solve complex problems and transform lives, and by introducing them to Australian scientists and innovators who are doing just that, Science 50:50 can help recalibrate the gender balance.

Image Credit - Maja Baska 2014
Image Credit – Maja Baska 2014


The session be once again chaired by Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla will feature a keynote speaker, as well as panellists from Science 50:50 industry partners such as CSIRO, IBM, Cochlear, Woolworths, Arrium, Brickworks, Australian Museum Research Institute, Global Product Stewardship Council. Students will have the opportunity to learn about scientific careers beyond university, internships and competitions. A panellist meet and greet will be held at the conclusion of the session for any students who attend the day.

I believe that the day will be in the spirit of International Women’s Day, with the aim to inspire the next generation of scientists, who also happen to be girls to do amazing things.

Women in Science Symposium at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Inspiring Stories – Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project is on 6 March 2015.

Bookings essential or 92983655


2 session are available through video conferencing with DART Connections

Inspiring Stories Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project – 6 March 2015  11:30am

Inspiring Stories Women and Science Symposium 50:50 project – 6 March 2015  1.30pm


Science 50:50 – Inspiring Young Women into Science


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