Showcasing Beds’ women in science

Thu 11 February, 2021
Article Header Image

The University of Bedfordshire is highlighting the fantastic work of its female scientists in honour of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Occurring on the 11th day of February every year, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a UN recognised date for acknowledging inspiring women in scientific fields.

This annual campaign hopes to address the imbalance shown by current statistics – less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, and only around 30% of all female students select STEM subjects in higher education.

In previous years, the University has marked International Day of Women and Girls in Science with a physical exhibition, celebrating the work of its academics. Due to restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Bedfordshire’s News Team has instead interviewed some of the University’s inspiring female scientists about their experience of working in STEM and their stimulation for getting involved in the field...

Click on each academic below to read their story:

STEM academics


Dr Gerta“I was inspired to get into science when I read Marie Curie’s autobiography at the age of 11. It intrigued me, and made me want to learn more about atoms and chemical reactions – as well as a desire to leave a trace in the scientific world.

“Now I am in working in science, I feel proud to represent women. I feel particularly proud to represent the women who have been excluded from universities and research, despite their great insight and passion, and I am grateful for all the pioneering women who made it possible for our generation to work and research as we do today.

“That said, I do also think that the time has come for the term ‘woman in science’ to be carefully considered. I am a scientist – being a woman is a separate fact that should not seem unusual in this profession, and I hope those times will come.”

Read Dr Gerta Cami-Kobeci's staff profile here.


Dr Maria“I have always been interested in the way the world works. When it came time to choose an area to focus on, I chose the human body with an especial interest in cancer and our immune system. I am far too squeamish to be a medical doctor, and I wanted to know how things worked at a cellular and molecular level – becoming a biochemist was therefore a natural choice.

“As a woman in science, it is important to show girls that science can be for them and that they can use the skills they learn in science to develop their careers, not only in science but in many other areas too.

"Developing a range of skills has been very beneficial in my management roles – the need to accurately record what is going on, to undertake information research to move your work forward, to effectively communicate complex ideas and to deliver to projects in an organised and timely manner, and within budget, were all skills I honed in the lab.”

Read Dr Maria Simon's staff profile here.


Dr Lindsay“I was hooked on archaeology and science from the day I went on a school trip, aged 7, to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. There are two things I love about being a woman in science: the first is showing my female students that it’s possible to have a career in the field and encouraging them to have one; the second is being able to tell my students – male and female – about important scientific discoveries that were made by women, especially those that weren’t properly acknowledged by society at the time.

“The most rewarding part of my job is witnessing the academic development of my students during the course of their studies. I get a real thrill seeing my students graduate and go on to further study or work in the industry.”

Read Dr Lindsay McDermott's staff profile here.


Dr Bushra“I was very much inspired by my university lecturers, they have always provided me guidance and I have learned a lot from them; they were and still are always there to guide me.

“It is difficult to describe in few words why I am proud to be a woman in science. It is basically implementing my research ideas towards action and that leads to achievements.

“The most rewarding thing for me is to see the success of my students both in terms of achieving good grades and their goals. Also, many more female students have come forward and are now studying Life Science subjects compared to a few years ago. It is indeed rewarding to see!”

Read Dr Bushra Ahmed's staff profile here.

For many years, the University’s Access and Outreach team has worked closely with local schools to help inspire their pupils to study STEM subjects and to realise their ambitions.

Last term, a virtual tour of the STEM Building was led by a couple of budding KS1 and KS2 scientists, Lola and Esme, as part of Bedfordshire’s STEM Week celebrations. The girls also demonstrated some fun experiments to try at home.

For further information about STEM facilities and courses at the University, click here.

To read more about study and research opportunities in the Faculty of Creative Arts, Technology and Science, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/departments/cats

telephone

University switchboard
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1234 400 400

Outside office hours
(Campus Watch)
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89

email

Admissions
admission@beds.ac.uk

International office
international@beds.ac.uk

Student support
sid@beds.ac.uk

Registration
help@beds.ac.uk

Exchanges
erasmus@beds.ac.uk

Our Tweets: @uniofbedsnews