As we’ve just had International Women’s Day, I thought it was time to introduce myself as a Women in Science Ambassador. Hello, I’m Rupo, a second year chemistry student at Loughborough University.
As many people know there is a typical ‘perception’ that a scientist should be male. However, this needs to change, and science needs to be diversified. The problem is that it’s hard to make people feel welcome in an area they can’t imagine themselves due to these perceptions. As a result, myself and my fellow Women in Science ambassadors are aiming to be role models to show you that science benefits everyone and should be studied by anyone who has a passion for it.
A question you may have, is why science should be diversified, could argue that the old system worked, as scientists have discovered a lot of phenomena of the years. However, science and research pose questions that can’t be solved singularly; we need perspectives and minds from all walks of life to get a holistic solution that can work for everyone. Take the discovery of the structure of DNA for example; many remember James Watson and Francis Crick’s work, but if it weren’t for Rosalind Franklin’s early contributions, then who’s to say how long it would have taken, or if we would still be looking? Let’s not extend the timeline for the next discovery, just because the old system ‘worked.’
Why did I choose chemistry…well, why not chemistry? It answers questions that you haven’t even thought of, it is everywhere – the world is made of atoms. Chemistry comes in all different forms, it can be colourful, computational, methodical or solely theoretical. It has something for everybody and illuminates the world around us.
As I said earlier, I am in my second year. My first year was a very remote experience in all senses of the word, so being able to go to lectures, meet different people and take part in activities has been a welcome change. A little about myself, I am from up north in Leeds. I chose chemistry for all the reasons above, but also because of a wonderful chemistry teacher in high school who exuded this passion for the subject that was infectious. I enjoy reading, my preferred genres range from everyday life stories to the whimsical, outlandish stories; it just needs to be fiction. If I am going to enter the realm of non-fiction it will have to be ‘science-ish’. I have been fortunate to take piano lessons at the University which I adore.
To end this little blog, I hope you get the point that I was trying to put across – if you want to do science, don’t let your gender, race, etc. make you think you can’t do it. Science isn’t bias and we need more scientists who look like you. I think Katherine Johnson (American mathematician) puts it perfectly:
“Girls can do everything men can do. Sometimes they have more imagination than men.”
Women in Science
Encouraging more young women to study science-related subjects