The reality of the gender gap in science: debates, activities and campaigns for February 11

Next Tuesday, February 11, the PRBB, together with its research centres, is organizing some activities and campaigns on social networks, as well as the screening of a short film on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Picture of the last edition of the Open Day at the PRBB. | © Jordi Casañas.

Picture of the last edition of the Open Day at the PRBB. | © Jordi Casañas.

The job insecurity of scientific career is a reality that all those who dedicate their life to reserach know very well. However, this insecurity and the difficulties it causes does not affect male and female scientists alike. In order to deal with the gender gap in science, it is necessary to involve not only women, but also men.

In 2015, with the aim of raising awareness about the problema and finding real solutions, the United Nations General Assembly established February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

The Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), one of the largest research centres in life sciences in southern Europe, and the six research centres located in the Park, are organising a series of activities, once again to celebrate this day.

Scientifilia: a documentary about the scientific job, with a gender perspective

The Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF)together with the PRBB, invites the entire scientific community to the screening of Scientifilia, a short documentary (25 minutes with credits, in Spanish with English subtitles), directed and produced by the Head of Communication at the IBE, Pilar Rodríguez. The film shows the secrets of the scientific job through the eyes of four researchers, of different gender and position. Topics such as women in science, freedom in research, job insecurity and the uniqueness of the scientific job are discussed throughout the short film.

At the end of the screening and during the next 30 minutes, researchers from the PRBB centres, also of different gender and position, will participate in a round table where these topics will be discussed, with the aim of visualizing the gender gap in science as a real problem that affects us all. The confirmed speakers are:

The event will take place next Tuesday, February 11, 2020, from 12 pm to 1:15 pm, in the PRBB Auditorium.




Wikimarathon: women scientists on Wikipedia

The gender gap is a reality in many areas of our society, and it is also evident when we compare, quantitatively and qualitatively, the presence of women or female contributions with that of men on Wikipedia, probably the most widely used source of information nowadays. Science is no exception.

For this reason, and as we have done in previous years, next Tuesday, February 11 the PRBB, together with the Viquidones Group of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and the Amical Wikimedia organization will dedicate the afternoon (4 pm to 8 pm) to improve the presence of female scientists on Wikipedia. The activity will take place in the Ramón y Cajal room of the PRBB.

In order to participate, no previous experience in editing Wikipedia is required. You only need to bring your own laptop and register in advance. We’ll bring the coffee!



Women of Science Exhibition and the “Who’s who” of science

From Thursday, February 6, the PRBB will host the Women of Science exhibition, from the Catalan Institute of Women of the Generalitat de Catalunya. This exhibition aims to recognize the contributions made by the Catalan female scientists and technicians. Women who, from their positions, transformed the boundaries of spaces traditionally assigned to men. We will learn the biography of some of them, such as Adela Simó Pera, Margarita Comas Camps and Dolors Aleu i Riera.

During the week there will also be the “Who is Who” game of science at the reception of the Park – come and play! The game was created by the PRBB Gender Equity Committee, giving this traditional puzzle game a feminine and scientific touch.


Ada Lovelace course: design your algorithm to decipher the information contained in the molecules

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) organizes this activity in which high school students can write their own algorithm and design a small game to decipher the information contained in certain molecules. In addition, students can talk to bioinformaticians and learn firsthand their experiences and reflections, as well as share doubts and curiosities. The objective of this activity is to encourage students’ interest in programming, since the vast majority of girls who are 6 to 16 years old do not consider studying careers related to computer science.


#SheInspiredMe, #PassionForScience, #whoisyourSHEro, #WomenOfEMBL: PRBB centers bring women scientists to social networks

Last year, some of the PRBB centres joined the #SheInspiredMe social media campaign, which highlighted the role of several female researchers who had inspired the scientific career of other researchers, both men and women. This February 11, the centres join this initiative again, as well as the #PassionForScience campaign, in which researchers will answer the question “What are you passionate about in science?” with the aim of transferring this passion to girls.

On the other hand, researchers from the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF) will share, through the hashtag #whoisyourSHEro, stories of women who have had an impact on their scientific career. The same will do the research staff of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – Barcelona (EMBL Barcelona), by using the hashtag #WomenOfEMBL.



About the author
Elena Lapaz holds a degree in Biomedical Sciences, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Enthusiastic about science, as well as concerned about social responsibility and interested in the art of communicating, she also holds a Masters in Scientific, Medical and Environmental Communication from the Pompeu Fabra University.

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