BY JASMINE BAILEY
Lipstick, bubbles, and makeup — not exactly the first things that come to mind when discussing science. However, those are all displayed in the European Commission’scontroversial video for its “Girls in Science” campaign.
The goal of the video is to attract more women to a career in science. According to commission officials, the video had to -quote “speak their language to get their attention” and that it was intended to be “Fun, catchy and strike a chord with young people.”
The EU campaign stems from the lack of women in research careers and aims to get girls interested at a young age. The Register explains.
“The EU have clearly acknowledged that there is a problem with getting women into areas like science and technology. Issues such as educational bias, the lack of role-models and certain sorts of institutional sexism have all been cited as problems in the past…”
But when the video went viral Friday, it was attacked for taking the wrong approach to the problem. A writer for Discover Magazine explains.
“The problem is that whoever made the video clearly starts from the assumption that girls hate actual science, and therefore the route to increasing their interest is to pretend that science is all about lipstick and sunglasses and runway models draped in pink.”
Other critics even labelled the video as sexist for its portrayal of women. As an example, a science blogger at Adventures in Ethics and Science got her 13-year-old daughter’s reaction to the video.
“The only clear scientist in that video was the man. The women in that video didn’t come across as scientists. They were more like giggly models with scientific props.”
The “Girls in Science” campaign has been praised for the other videos they feature on their website, which show real women who work in science. A writer for Knight Science Journalism Tracker says the Commission should have stuck with the “strong role model” approach.
“We absolutely do want more women in science. But we want them because they’re smart, talented, hard-working, capable… And we’ll see their numbers rise … when those abilities are fully embraced and rewarded.”
As of Saturday afternoon, the Commission had replaced the teaser video on its site with a profile of a woman earning her PhD in virology.
Here’s the link to the video on Newsy