• Question: Why were no girls chosen as volunteers during filming on 15 December 2016?how does this encourage girls to go into science?

    Asked by 634xmasen25 to Tom C, Saiful, Karl on 6 Jan 2017.
    • Photo: Saiful Islam

      Saiful Islam answered on 6 Jan 2017:


      Thanks for this and you make a fair point. I’d like to make the following points in response:

      -I found the TV filming of the lectures extremely nerve-wracking (as an university academic) and in lecture 3 I’m afraid I did rush my selections of volunteers. I did select a number of girl volunteers in lectures 1 and 2.

      -I do take diversity and gender issues in science very seriously and agree with you that we should encourage more girls to go into science. That’s important for innovation and creativity in science.

      -Hence, I insisted that we invited former female Christmas lecturers to appear in prominent demonstrations; for example:
      – Prof Danielle George in lecture 3 doing the fast electric car demo as well as discussing the engineering behind it;
      -Prof Alison Wollard in Lecture 2 on electric bodies connected to a girl volunteer;
      -Prof Monica Grady in Lecture 1 discussing the Faraday cage.
      -Others were unavailable (e.g. Prof Nancy Rothwell). And I should add that most of the demonstration designers for all 3 lectures were women.
      I’m sorry if it spoiled your viewing of Lecture 3.

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