“Picture a Scientist” moves the hearts of female aspiring scientists



On Friday evening, February 23rd, aspiring female scientists from the ML4Q community witnessed the screening of the Emmy-nominated documentary film “Picture a Scientist” in the Cologne Residence Cinema. The participants, both young female scientists who are currently working on their PhD as well as female scientists in the next stages of their careers, came from different ML4Q sites to enjoy this special evening in Cologne. After watching the documentary in an actual cinematic ambient they engaged in an open discussion session hosted by Silvia Pappalardi, ML4Q Professor in Theoretical Physics at the University of Cologne.

The documentary captures the challenging trajectory that female scientists undertake in choosing a career in academia, aiming to be recognized equally alongside their male colleagues in a male-dominated field, a field that reflects a world where women stand out “as the other” as opposed to “the one”, as Pappalardi quotes Simone de Beauvoir. The film follows documented cases of systemic discrimination and harassment that the female protagonists have faced throughout their careers in science. After the screening and in light of her own experience as a female scientist, Silvia led a heartwarming discussion where participants shared their feelings, concerns and experiences in a safe environment.

The film screening in Cologne follows the efforts of a few other institutions worldwide to raise awareness about gender issues in STEM. The event is part of the ‘Inside Academia‘ format in ML4Q, a framework for talks and networking events focusing on specific target groups with an interest in non-academic aspects of the scientific environment.






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