Jun 23 2012

Which government better understands how to get women interested in science?

I’ll report, you decide.

The EU “Science: it’s a girl thing!” campaign:

The White House’s Girls in STEM video (hat tip to Scicurious):

Vote in the comments! IT’LL BE A FUCKEN TIGHTTE RACE, I’M SURE!!!1 (Err. Sorry, I channeled PhysioProf for a second there.)

Also, to skew your votes ever so slightly, Teen Skepchick hosts a spirited debate about what shade of eyeshadow women scientists should work on first. I think. I nodded off halfway through the title because it wasn’t jump-cutty enough.


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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    I channeled PhysioProf for a second there

    Alas, poor Jason. I knew him when he was sane. Soon he’ll be a gibbering husk of a man, muttering about the New York Yankees and spicy food.

  2. 2
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Yeah, not much of a competition there.

  3. 3

    As an engineer myself, the White House STEM competition really gives me hope that there are still kids (especially girls) interested in STEM fields in this country. I didn’t get the opportunity to compete in something like that, but I think it really would have been a fantastic experience.

  4. 4

    Some of those whitehouse projects were amazing. I hope they get external review and help. If that land mine detector really works it could be a game changer for the de-mining projects around the world. (Last time I checked it was $0.50 to deploy a land mine and $500 to pull one back out of the ground)

  5. 5

    I love it! I hadn’t seen that video before, but the contrast is certainly striking:)

  6. 6

    Say what you will about Barack Obama, it’s refreshing (in an escaping-from-drowning sense) to have a President who respects science, understands it’s importance, and even appears to have an appreciation for what is says and does.

  7. 7

    Trick question. The EU is not a state and therefore has no goverment.

  8. 8

    I don’t think there’s any competition there. I mean, the US one doesn’t make me want to cover someone’s car with melted lipstick…it does make me want to eat some fruit and do some knitting/dying, though.

  9. 9


    I am now deeply embarrassed on behalf of my continent.

  10. 10

    Wow, not even a contest.

    I couldn’t bear to watch the 53-second EU one all the way through. But with the US one, about 8 times the length of the EU one, I got quite choked up listening to those enthusiastic young people and seeing their projects. I came away inspired and hopeful.

  11. 11

    The US one made me embarrassed that I’m not a genius.

  12. 12
    Ex Patriot

    There is no compition there at asll the 2nd vid wins hands down

  13. 13

    2nd video. No contest.

    (I’m European, btw. Not a proud one right now.)

  14. 14
    P Smith

    “Which government?” Actually, which *part* of government in the US’s case. I’m sure there are plenty of cretins who want those girls in a home-ec class instead of a science class.

    Some ideas were simple but useful, some were ambitious and some were pipe dreams, but they all accomplished the main goal: they were thinking and experimenting. They aren’t “girls doing science”, they’re students doing science. They shouldn’t need qualifiers.

  15. 15

    Icaarus says (#4):

    If that land mine detector really works it could be a game changer for the de-mining projects around the world. (Last time I checked it was $0.50 to deploy a land mine and $500 to pull one back out of the ground)

    Related to mine detection, I read a story this week about “silly string”.


    It sounds like a product plug, but it does seem to be a cheap way to detect booby traps inside buildings. The soldier opens the door and sprays it in. If it hangs in the air, there’s a tripwire.

  16. 16

    I was on the “gender expert” group that provided recommendations to the EC as background for their work on the “Science: It’s a girl thing!” campaign. Four of us from the group issued a statement today which on the one hand is clearly critical of the teaser video that has received so much attention (clearly, if you speak “diplomat” at least) and on the other hand tries to say that the issue of recruiting more women to science is so crucial and so important that the EC shouldn’t get totally derailed by this snafu. Our statement was published at wp.me/p22Uc1-XC .

  17. 17
    Jason Thibeault

    Thank you, curtrice. I hope you can help right that ship, because the campaign is absolutely vital regardless of how badly they’ve screwed up the teaser.

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