Irrational routes to science

Video>> Science • Virtual World

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageA video clip using images of lipsticks, killer heels and a handsome male laboratory worker to encourage women to pursue science careers has been condemned as sexist and demeaning. Science: It’s a Girl Thing, produced by the European Commission (EC), has generic pictures of beakers and words like “hydrogen” with pictures of skinny models.

Web users were so shocked by its content that an EC spokesperson was forced to deny it was a joke.

The minute-long video went viral on June 29, a day after it was released as part of a series of films under the same head. While the campaign’s other films had drawn praise for featuring interesting and intelligent women discussing their careers in scientific research, viewers said this video contained no scientific content, save for a handful of images of beakers, test tubes and formulas.

Victoria Herridge, palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum, said the video undermined the good work of the other films released by the campaign.

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