One of our Twitter followers asked how those not connected to us via the joys of social networking can keep up-to-date with what ScienceGrrl are doing. I directed them to this blog… and then had an “ahhhhhhhhh” moment when I realised I hadn’t actually updated it very recently. 

So here is the Director’s update. Beware that I am writing this on the way back from London after another superb 24 hours of ScienceGrrl-related sorting-out, so I will branch out into polemic and get all misty-eyed and romantic about science at some point. Well, if it’s good enough for Prof Brian Cox… 

So, developments in a nutshell:

  • The calendar is coming along beautifully. We have completed 6 of 14 shoots and there are a large number of gorgeous images from our fabulous photographers Ben Gilbert, Greg Funnell and Naomi Goggin (alphabetical order) to choose from. Arrangements for the other 8 are coming along nicely thanks to the wonder who is Producer Louise Crane.
  •  We’re currently drawing together brief biographies for all those who have appeared in shoots, asking them to sum up what they do and why… and what they do when they’re not doing science
  • Cosima, the design genius behind the Geek Calendar, has sent us some ideas for our logo and the calendar design overall and it looks amazing… fresh, funky and sassy… love it.
  • We have received £2100 from the Science Council, The University of Durham, the Society for Advanced Microbiology, the Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol and the University of Bristol Industrial Doctorate Centre in Systems. This will go towards our photography and design costs.
  • We are in the process of crowd-funding our print costs via Sponsume.Please keep plugging this like mad to all your contacts, we have raised 18% of our total and have two weeks to go. If nothing else, the site is worth a visit to see the extent of my home video skills.
  •  We will open the website shop at www.sciencegrrl.co.uk for pre-orders on the 24th of September, which is when our press campaign will really kick off too. Expect to see ScienceGrrls (and Scienceboyz) being interviewed everywhere, and if you want to get us on your podcast/website/radio or TV show or in your magazine/paper… now is the time to ask.
  • The calendar itself goes on sale on 18th October, and the ScienceGrrl team are marking the occasion with a launch party in central London. I’ve bought the best dress ever to wear for the occasion. Today I bought lipstick to match. You needed to know that.
  • We have assembled the executive committee who will head up ScienceGrrl going forward: me (Director), Louise Crane (Producer), Anna Zecharia (Social Media Manager), Ellie Cosgrave (Production Assistant) and have had several others say they are happy to act in an advisory role. We are in the process of finalising our constitution and tracking down a treasurer, and when that’s done ScienceGrrl will officially become an unincorporated association (a not-for-profit society). I’m working on the financial arrangements that reflect that, so we can collect the promised donations from our sponsors… and PayPal.
  • Later in the year, we’ll be asking people if they want to become official members of ScienceGrrl, which will mean you’ll get a say in the future of ScienceGrrl and be able to vote at our Annual General Meetings, the first of which will be in the first quarter of 2013.
  •  We’ve already committed to fund ‘Breakthrough: the Gender Stereotypes Project’ to develop primary school lessons that challenge gender stereotypes in science and are developing no less than 5 other good value, grass-roots projects which will draw on the expertise and enthusiasm within the ScienceGrrl network to encourage more girls and young women to engage with STEM.In the last 24 hours, I have also gossiped with Louise Crane over sparkling
    rosé (now that’s what I call a production meeting), popped in on colleagues at UCLH to charge my phone and gaze longingly at their new PET-MRI scanner (Dear Santa…), interrupted Dallas Campbell recording audio for BBC Generation Earth in Soho, visited the awesome da Vinci exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery, been interviewed by Pallab Ghosh about the under-representation of girls on A-level Physics courses in the new and shiny bit of Broadcasting House AND met new and familiar ScienceGrrl faces at the pub after work. Lots of happy, lovely memories to get me through my 12 hour shift tomorrow.I think that’s it for now… oh, I nearly forgot the polemic!

    ScienceGrrl is a network of predominantly female scientists who are passionate about passing on their love of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the next generation. Through our current project, the ScienceGrrl 2013 calendar, we aim to show the female face of science, by showcasing the work of a wide variety of female scientists doing an amazing range of science in partnership with their male colleagues

    Oh, and I want ScienceGrrl to be fun, when it stops being fun I’ll stop doing it. I already have a demanding job and a young family, I don’t need to invest this much energy in something that’s a real drag. I sometimes think that discussions surrounding ‘women’s issues’ can be a bit dour and negative and almost foster a victim mentality… our ethos is to highlight what is already being done and celebrate that, to encourage more of the same, to embody the change we want to see; we seek to be inclusive and uplifting, a supportive community for all female scientists, a host of positive role models for girls and young women.

    That’s all, folks!

Dr Heather Williams
Heather helped establish ScienceGrrl in June 2012 and is ScienceGrrl's Director. Heather is a Senior Medical Physicist for Nuclear Medicine at Central Manchester University Hospitals and honorary Lecturer in the Centre for Imaging Sciences at Manchester University. She makes sure pictures of patients are top quality so the doctors can trust what they see, and tries out new and better ways of imaging the body’s functions. When she’s not working, Heather enjoys running, cycling and spending time with her sons.
Dr Heather Williams
Dr Heather Williams