Barcelona vindicates female talent on the International Day for Women and Girls in Science

Acte de presentació Hypatia
08/02/2024 - 16:04 h - Science Ajuntament de Barcelona

Today was held the event to vindicate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11F), organized by Hypatia with the support of the Barcelona City Council. Coinciding with this celebration, next February 11, the Greenhouse of the Ciutadella Park has been the stage chosen to highlight the work of women in science and promote scientific and technological vocations (STEAM) among girls.

The event was attended by the Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni, who gave the closing speech. After listening to the round table discussion with renowned women scientists, including analogous astronauts from the Hypatia mission, the mayor said he was proud to share this “journey to Mars” with all those present. “The Hypatia Mission transmits the values of the Barcelona of 2024, such as science, female talent and the commitment to disseminate and share knowledge”, he said.

“We want to promote science, bring science closer to everyone, encourage scientific vocations in women and girls”, she said, recalling the work that has been done and the work that remains to be done, and to do so “we need female role models in science”. “You are an icon, a point of interest for thousands of girls and women who, when they see you, will realise their possibilities and that it is possible to be a woman and go to Mars”, he said.

The Mayor recalled that in the Ciutadella area “there will be more than 2,000 male and female researchers in areas of research that are essential for the life of people and the life of the planet” and stressed the need to vindicate female leadership in the field of science and knowledge and to continue working to combat the gender barriers that exist today. As an example, she mentioned the STEAM Plan, thanks to which 7,000 students are being trained in science and technology.

Students of the Institut Verdaguer participate in the event

Students and faculty from the Institut Verdaguer attended the event to listen to and question the astronauts and women scientists who participated in the round table: Caterina Biscari, director of the Alba Synchrotron; Enriqueta Felip, head of the thoracic tumors group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); Sònia Estradé, director of the UB Chair of Gender Perspective and Feminisms; Helena Arias, Hypatia II analog astronaut and Hypatia analog astronauts. The students of this center, located in the Ciutadella Park, showed their interest in the scientific mission in the simulated Mars station, after listening to chapter 0 of the audio podcast series “Mission Mars”, available on the 3Cat platform and the Catalunya Ràdio app, and after hearing the news about the Hypatia II mission that will take place in 2025. Among those attending the event were also the deputy mayors Maria Eugènia Gay and Jordi Valls; and several members of the scientific and university community of the city.

Special mention to the Hypatia I team at the Ciutat de Barcelona 2023 Awards

The jury of the City of Barcelona 2023 Awards in the Experimental Sciences and Technology category has agreed to award a special mention to the Hypatia I team, formed by Carla Conejo, Mariona Badenas-Agustí, Adriana Farrés Basiana, Laia Ribas, Núria Jar, Neus Sabaté and Cesca Cufí-Prat, for the scientific mission in the simulated Mars station and their work to promote scientific and technological vocations (STEM) among girls. The awards will be presented on February 13 at a ceremony in the Saló de Cent of the Barcelona City Hall.

Assessment of the work carried out by the Barcelona City Council

According to UNESCO, currently 33% of all scientific personnel globally are women. To combat this gap, the City Council is working to promote the feminization of science. Thanks to the STEAM Plan, there are 7,000 female students being trained in science and technology from infant to secondary school. Thanks to the LIDERA program, 1,200 women have the support of the City Council to lead their own business projects. There is also an agreement in place with the BIST (Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology) to promote female leadership in research, in schools and, for example, specific programs to provide financial support to women scientists who, as mothers, can continue their research careers.

Actions of Barcelona Science and Universities

Last September the City Council, through Barcelona Science and Universities, signed a collaboration agreement with BIST to promote female leadership in the field of research and to adopt specific measures to support postdoctoral researchers, junior group leaders, and to train girls and young women in science and technology. The agreement is the result of one of the policies deployed as a result of the publication of the study Women and Science in Barcelona, published by the City Council in response to the need to know the reality of women in the scientific fabric of Barcelona and the metropolitan region. The report was presented at the Saló de Cent in an event that took place on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in this case, 2022. Another successful programme, which also awakens new scientific vocations among girls and young women, is Escolab, which brings ESO, baccalaureate and vocational training courses closer to the leading laboratories and research centres.