european commission


Issue 02, October 2014

Research & Innovation

Science: it's a girl thing!

Latest news from ‘Science: it's a girl thing!’

‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ at EUCYS

Science: it's a girl thing! Last month, the 1st prize winning team of our ‘What does science mean to you?’ photo contest joined top young scientists from europe and beyond at the 26th annual European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Warsaw.

Patricia, Ivana and Barbora (Jefferson Starships team) from Slovakia won the trip to EUCYS in Warsaw after their photo came out top of the contest back in July. During their stay, not only did the trio have the chance to mingle with the cream of young science, they were also awarded their prize by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. Their winning photo was part of the highly successful ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ photo exhibition at EUCYS.

Of course our ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ winners were certainly not the only talented young people at EUCYS. Over the week-long competition, 110 scientists aged 14 to 20 presented their projects in the hope of impressing an international jury.

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The high calibre of the entries - all winners already at national level - ensured the competition was stiff and the atmosphere was electric. As the Jefferson Starships team joked, “The concentration of brilliant minds and prospective futures in the University of Warsaw library was so high they had to lock the doors to prevent simple diffusion of intelligence.”

In the end, the three first prizes of €7 000 each were awarded to João Pedro Estácio Gaspar Gonçalves de Araújo from Portugal for ‘A natural characterization of semilattices of rectangular bands and groups of exponent two’, Mariana De Pinho Garcia and Matilde Gonçalves Moreira da Silva from Portugal for ‘Smart Snails’ and Luboš Vozdecký from the Czech Republic for ‘Rolling Friction’. Many other participants were also honoured, and in total €62 500 in prize money was awarded to young scientists from Europe and beyond.

The Jefferson Starships team gives an entertaining and insightful description of their first - though perhaps not last (!) - EUCYS experience here:

Participate in the ‘Sounds of Science’ quiz on our Facebook page

Discover an invention made by a woman every week with our new ‘sounds of science quiz’. this unique video contest was launched in mid september and will run until 21 november 2014. how does it work? each week, we play a new video of sounds that represent an invention or a discovery by a woman and believe us, you’ve never seen science sounds ‘sung’ like this before! after you watch the video, four possible answers appear and you have to guess the correct one.

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Speed is of the essence in this quiz - the quicker you answer, the more points you get and the higher up the scoreboard you climb.

The top 10 scores each week receive a ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ goodie bag stuffed with fun accessories and other treats. The top 10 overall scores at the end of the quiz period on 21 November will each win an icewatch®.

We want to get as many young, curious players involved in the app as possible so please spread the word about ‘Sounds of Science’!

Women in science – we need you!

Click ‘Read more’ to check out the exact profiles and nationalities that we’re looking for!

Since the launch of the ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ campaign, one of the core elements has been our team of inspiring role models. From physicists and veterinary virologists to experts in cosmic dust and software development, a hugely diverse range of researchers from around Europe are on board. But we need more!

We want to show the ‘Science: it’s a girl thing!’ community that women are everywhere in science – in every discipline and in every country. At the moment, we have some gaps and we are calling on women scientists to help us to fill them!

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In particular, we are asking for women who fit these profiles: Renewable Energy Engineer, Data Security Specialist, Environmental Geriatrician, Climatologist, Ocean Engineer, Software Engineer, Agronomist, Fuel Cell Engineer, Neuroscientist, Zoologist, Computer Forensic Analyst, Aerospace Engineer, Hydrologist, Naval architect and Mechanical Engineer.

Some countries are underrepresented in our roster of role models so we are eager to find women scientists who come from the following countries: Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Czech republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

If you are a woman in science who matches these profiles, please get in touch. If you know a woman in science who might be interested, please pass it on!

There are many ways that you can contribute to our campaign as a role model: make a video about your life and your work for the website section ‘profiles of women in science’; post photos of your work and leisure time to our ‘instant science’ facebook album; add your profile to our ask a scientist facebook app.

For more information, please contact:

Calendar – key dates

Now on! 24-26 October: Scientix Conference (Brussels)

7-8 November: Science on Stage Germany (Berlin)

17-19 November: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2014) (Seville)

15-19 December: Try VISConti in School: Technical viability, Economic Potential, Scientific Creativity (Valetta)

Social media links to be highlighted

Do you know how fast the nails of an average adult grow?

What does the acronym ALMA stand for?

‘If you push through that feeling of being scared, really amazing things happen.’

A team of American and Russian scientists has recently proven the existence of the 117th element of the Periodic table.

The sounds in the video relate to an invention of Tabitha Babbitt.

News from the web

First female winner for Fields maths medal (BBC)

Celebrating Women's Contribution to Science (Huffington Post UK)

John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser, And Edvard Moser Win 2014 Nobel Prize In Physiology Or Medicine (Chemical and Engineering News)

Cork schoolgirls make ‘Time’ list of most influential teenagers (Irish Times)

These 3 High-Tech Toys Help Teach Girls to Stick with Science (Yahoo Tech)