Historians shadowing scientists scheme

Are you a UK-based early career or doctoral student in the history of science, technology and medicine with an interest in the role of gender in science? Would you be interested in participating in an opportunity to shadow a working woman scientist to gain a better understanding of what scientists do and the challenges women scientists face today?

WISRNet, an AHRC sponsored research network, is investigating how improved knowledge of the historical role of women in science can contribute to current debates and concerns over the low representation of women in sciences, especially at higher levels.  We are looking for historians of science (in its broadest sense – including pure and applied sciences, maths, engineering, medicine etc) to take part in a unique scheme which will see historians paired with a working woman scientist, shadowing  her in her place of work for two half days.

The shadowing scheme is designed for early-career historians and female scientists. Under the scheme early-career historians of science will have the opportunity to spend a day with a working female scientist. Note that this is a pilot scheme and as such we are only able to accept applications from people based in Britain at this stage. We are defining science in its very broadest sense, from traditional pure sciences such as physics, chemistry, biological sciences and mathematics, to the applied sciences of engineering, technology etc. We are also working with scientists at all career stages.

We aim to:

  • Promote a good understanding of contemporary scientific work and career patterns among historians (aiding a more subtle understanding of historical scientific careers)
  • Record brief life-history of the female scientists in the programme.
  • Make scientists more aware that historians can help to promote them and their work to the public.

We invite applications from British-based students (of either gender) currently enrolled in history of science/technology/medicine PhD programmes and British-based post-doctoral researchers in these fields not currently in permanent academic posts. Successful applicants will be paired with a female scientist in their locality, so it is important to tell us where you will usually be based during the period that the scheme will be running (November 2013 to February 2014) covering the scheme. If you have a preference for a particular field of science do let us know, but be aware that while we will try to match you with a scientist working in your preferred field, we cannot guarantee do this.

The scheme will start in Late October/early November 2013 with a workshop for the historians at which participants will be introduced to the scheme in more detail, the current debate about women’s participation in science, and how a greater historical knowledge of women’s involvement in science might contribute to these debates.

The two half-day placements with a scientist will take place between November 2013 and February 2014. It will end with a second half-day workshop where the participants will reconvene to share their experiences.

If you are interested in being involved in this new and unique opportunity please visit WISRNet, where more detailed information (and an application form) can be found, or contact Sue Hawkins. Applications to take part in the scheme should be submitted no later than 15 September 2013.

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