How science got women wrong explored by award-winning science journalist

The long history of gender bias in science research and the work being done to correct it will be explored in a talk by award-winning science journalist Angela Saini (pictured).

She will be speaking about her new book Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story at a free public lecture on Wednesday 18 October at 5.30pm in Bennett lecture theatre 1. It will be followed by a book signing and drinks reception in our Department of Physics and Astronomy foyer where copies of her book will be for sale. Students will be offered a 10% discount especially for the event. This event is being co-sponsored by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute of Physics East Midlands Branch.

Tickets can be booked via the IOP website or Eventbrite.

Broadcaster and author Angela Saini is taking her new book, Inferior, on a tour of UK universities to talk about the themes it explores and what it means for women in science.

In her book, she examines the mistakes and bias that have infiltrated scientific research on women for more than a century and in doing so she uncovers how science has been influenced by misguided historical and cultural perceptions about men and women. By uncovering new international research, Angela Saini begins to transform how we think about women and their place in the human evolutionary story.

Understanding how cultural misconceptions have perpetuated the mind-set that ‘men are better at critical thinking and leading’ and that ‘women are better in nurturing and caring roles’ is necessary. Such assumptions often discourage girls from pursuing STEMM subjects in higher education or female scientists from furthering their scientific careers and reaching leadership roles.

Higher education has a number of initiatives that aim to address the under-representation of women in STEMM such as the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) charter and Aurora, the higher education leadership programme for women, as well as the University of Leicester’s role as a HeForShe IMPACT Champion. The Institute of Physics (IOP - East Midlands Branch) who are co-sponsoring this event have their own initiative to improve the gender balance in physics, Project JUNO.

These initiatives often celebrate the achievements and increase the visibility of female scientists, such as the University of Leicester’s Dr Suzie Imber from the Department of Physics and Astronomy who recently won the BBC Two programme Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?.