A resource for journalists, educators, policy makers, scientists, and anyone needing scientific expertise
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We need more women's voices in the public sphere.
Too often, high-profile articles, conference panels, and boards are filled with a disproportionate number of male voices. News stories are reported by more men by a huge margin, and this imbalance is reflected in how frequently women are quoted in news stories unless journalists make a conscious effort to reach out. Most keynote speakers at conferences are men. Panels are so frequently all-male that a new word evolved to describe the phenomenon: manels. These imbalances add up and reinforce the inaccurate perception that science is stale, pale and male. Even though women are a huge part of the scientific community and make up half of the population, women's voices have been historically low or entirely absent in public spaces. These imbalances ultimately deny leadership opportunities to women in science, especially women who face additional forms of discrimination. It is time for a change.
We need more women's voices, in the media, at scientific conferences, at universities, in government. We, 500 Women Scientists, are creating a solution to this gender gap, from manels to largely male keynote speakers at scientific conferences to the prominence of males as policy makers.
The Request a Woman Scientist platform connects our extensive multidisciplinary network of vetted women in science with anyone who needs to consult a scientist for a news story, invite a keynote speaker or panelist for a conference or workshop, find a woman scientist to collaborate on a project, or serve as a subject matter expert in any capacity. Importantly, 500 Women Scientists is committed to diversity and inclusion, not just in our scientific fields, but in our society as a whole.
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Looking for more resources to put you in touch with more women scientists and scientists from underrepresented backgrounds? Check out these platforms to bring more science expertise into the public realm.
- Diverse Sources is a searchable database of underrepresented experts in the areas of science, health and the environment. This database aims to make it easy for journalists and others to include a wider range of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives in their work.
- SciLine is an initiative from the AAAS that provides timely access to trustworthy, articulate experts for journalists and other communicators producing print, broadcast, or digital stories about science-related issues.
- Diversify EEB is a list that highlights ecologists and evolutionary biologists who are women and/or underrepresented minorities
- Women in Microbiology hosts a list of hundreds of awesome women in the fields of microbial ecology, microbiome, rhizosphere, microbial genomics, metagenomics, and bioinformatics.
- Annes List highlights women of neuroscience.
- RLadies lets you browse a list of women who are experts in R sand view profiles of R-Ladies located by country
- Skype a Scientist matches scientists with classrooms around the world.
- Climate Voices brings scientists and citizens together to discuss climate science and local impacts of climate change.
- Women's Media Center works to raise the visibility, viability and decision-making power of women and girls in media.
If you know of other efforts, please share them with us so we can get the word out.