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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Inspiring women scientists to achieve their potential

Published: 4 November 2015
Dr Emily Grossman

Science communicator Dr Emily Grossman – much in demand by TV producers for her enthusiasm and passion in explaining science – delivered an inspirational talk to students and staff at an event to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day*.


She talked about her career in both science and the theatre, studying at the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, as well as drama school in Guildford, before she was chosen by the BBC to be one of 15 women scientists in a pioneering programme encouraging women to develop their skills in talking about science through the broadcast media.

“The world is crying out for good science communicators as there are so many important issues such as climate change that ordinary people need to know about,” says Emily.

The event was organised by Dr Judith Lock from the Centre for Biological Sciences as one of its Athena SWAN** events, but open to everyone interested in the subject and supported by Women into Science, Engineering and Technology (WiSET),the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences and undergraduate student society BioSoc. “Although equal numbers of men and women start off studying biological sciences at university, many females leave the profession before reaching senior positions, it’s time this changed,” says Judith.

Earlier in the day, Emily took part in a hands-on workshop session with Biological Sciences undergraduates, and members of BioSoc, to give them some insights into how to convey their passion for science to a wider audience.

First year Zoology student Georgia Harper comments: “I absolutely loved the Ada Lovelace day workshop and lecture, it really gave me an insight into what science communication is really all about and motivated me to pursue my dream further!” Integrated Masters in Biomedical Sciences student Steph Powell was also in the audience. “It was good to hear Emily’s story about how her career developed and I’m pleased she was invited to talk to us,” she says. “However we must also get the message across in schools that science is for girls as well as boys, there’s still a long way to go.”


*Ada Lovelace has been called the first software engineer. The 19th century mathematician and writer worked with Charles Babbage on his early mechanical computer – the Analytical Engine. Ada Lovelace Day marks the achievements of woman in science, technology, engineering and maths.

**Athena SWAN is an initiative to support women’s academic careers in science, engineering and maths.




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