Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades Gobierno de Canarias Universidad de La Laguna CSIC Centro de Excelencia Severo Ochoa

Press and Multimedia

“Girls who broke a glass ceiling while stargazing”

Nov. 29, 2017

In the framework of the project “The Return of Henrietta Leavitt. From school to a research career via the theatre” of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), an audiovisual series has been started in order to give visibility to the women astrophysicists and engineers at the IAC, while stimulating the intest of girls in scientific and technical careers. The first of these videos, which lasts for 5 minutes, is published today in the video channels (YouTube, Vimeo, Daily Motion) and the social networks of this institute.

Even though more and more women are choosing to study scientific and technical university careers, according to the latest data in the She Figures  report of the European Commission, Physics, and by extensión Astrophysics, is a speciality in which the presence of women is much less than that of men. The fraction of women studying Physics is no greater than 30%, and as one climbs the research ladder women barely make up 13% of chairs in the subject.

This series of videos, whose title Girls who broke a crystal roof while stargazing is inspired by the project “No-Nancies” by the astrophysicist Pilar Montañés , is a part of the activities foreseen within the project “The Return of Henrietta Leavitt: from school to a research career via the theatre” which is an initiative of the IAC, in collaboration with the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitivity of the Spanish Government. In these videos, which last for five minutes, whose aim is to encourage young girls to opt for scientific and technical careers, women astrophysicists and engineers at the IAC explain what they wanted to do when they grew up, what they studied at university, and what they are doing now.  

The first chapter of this series was presented in the Gender in Physics Day (GiPD) Spain 2017, in the framework of the European project GENERA, (Gender Equality Network in the European Research Area) an event organized by the IAC which took place on October 23rd and 24th in La Laguna. At that meeting there were discussions about the presence of women in research careers in Physics, with stress on the importance of school in tipping the balance towards scientific and technical careers for girls.

In this first video, produced by the Unit of Communication and Scientific Culture of the IAC, the following people take part, in order of appearance: María Jesús Martínez González, Icíar Montilla García, Begoña García Lorenzo and Pilar Montañés Rodríguez.

Ficha técnica:

Dirección: Carmen del Puerto Varela

Realización: Inés Bonet

Producción: Laura Calero y Alejandra Rueda Moral

Coordinación: Elena Mora Cuesta, José Peña Coto y Nayra Rodríguez Eugenio

Infografía 3D: Inés Bonet y Gabriel Pérez

Timelapses: Daniel López

Imágenes solares: SST/IAC/UiO, y NASA/SDO

Música: Black Mirror y Moby

Complet list of press releases | More press releases of year 2017

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