It’s warming to my heart to see so much of me in you,
That wide-eyed awe, that eager smile: “What else can science do?”
“What spaceships, cars or nano-bots will engineers design?”
“What next for astrophysics on the history of time?”
So no matter what they tell you in your college applications,
There is nothing more important than this lifelong fascination.
It’s deja-vu to see you look around your college lab,
You’ve heard the story, yes – it’s slightly meaningless and drab:
“Gender balance: 80-20. Yes, of course we strive for more.
But for years now, engineering has been male right to its core.”
Yet no matter what you’re thinking, as the only girl enrolled,
There is nothing more important than the passion that you hold.
And it’s clear in your and my minds that our future generations,
Must stand tall upon the shoulders of our giants’ inspiration,
And say: “Diversity in science is no longer just a dream,
Look around you and you’ll see us all now working as a team.
Just think back – how many breakthroughs do you think we would have missed
If we’d settled for the “fact” that women study science less?
So no matter if they tell you to rethink your love for science,
Just remember: science needs you, and the future needs its giants.
A poem by Luciana Miu, a PhD candidate at Imperial College London. She works at the interface between technology and society, researching consumer investment behaviours for domestic energy-saving measures. She was thrilled to win the 2018 Wiley Women in Research travel grant and used the money to attend the International Conference on Sustainable Development in New York, an interdisciplinary forum for placing research in the context of sustainable development and for building collaborations with academics and practitioners from a variety of fields, ranging from engineering to the arts.