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Science, It’s a Girl Thing! Can You Create a Better Video?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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During a bit of insomnia one night a few weeks ago, I checked on my twitter timeline, where I can catch some tweets from those awake across the Atlantic, to find someone had referenced a new contest that wants to reward a talented videographer for creating a new video to replace the controversial video from the European Commission’s initiative to encourage girls to consider science, Science, It’s a Girl Thing.

As you recall, this was the original teaser video, taken down after much uproar.

I contacted Curt Rice, who came up with the idea for a new contest to search for a more appropriate video for the EU Commission’s initiative. He still believes the entire initiative to attract girls to science is a great one (as do I) and also thinks that the teaser video concept is an effective one, but perhaps there should be one that represents real science and real women in a less controversial way.

He shared this information from his website:

This contest is co-organized by the European Science Foundation. Nobel Prize winner Brian Schmidt (Physics, 2011) has made a donation so that there will be a cash prize.

The contest is for you! There are cash prizes! Join and win!

The winning videos will be shown at the European Gender Summit 2012, November 29-30 at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Here’s how it works:
1. Visit the Science, It’s a Girl Thing website to familiarize yourself with their goals.
2. Create a one minute (or less) video designed to drive traffic to the site and create awareness for the project.
3. Upload your video to YouTube and include the hashtag #sciencegirlthing in the description, and tweet to @CurtRice with a link to your video. I’ll promote your videos on my blog and on Twitter. (Please check back to the contest page before you upload; ESF is considering making a dedicated YouTube page for the contest entries.)
4. Encourage people to “like” your video on YouTube. The one with the most likes on November 28th, at 12 noon Central European Time, will be one of the winners and will be shown at the conference.
In addition to identifying one winner through “likes” on YouTube, there will be two more winners. Read on!
5. There will also be two more prizes given. These will be determined by a panel of judges at the European Gender Summit. The European Science Foundation will assemble the panel of judges.
6. All three winning videos will receive a cash prize of 1500 euros!

Read more here.

Best of luck!

Joanne Manaster About the Author: Joanne Manaster is a university level cell and molecular biology lecturer with an insatiable passion for science outreach to all ages. Enjoy her quirky videos at, on twitter @sciencegoddess and on her Facebook page at JoanneLovesScience Follow on Twitter @sciencegoddess.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. katkage 1:52 pm 09/27/2012

    Encouraging more females to choose scientific professions? Absolutely!

    Promoting crowdsourcing via a ‘contest’ and effectively driving down the fair market value of designers in the process? Shame on you, European Science Foundation.

    Link to this
  2. 2. mikegonzalez2k 10:19 am 09/30/2012

    The video is very degrading to women because they are trying to make science seem “sexy.” Women are so much more than that, and you shouldn’t have to correlate everything they do to sexual natures. They often have very beautiful minds that can see from a different perspective. As someone in the tech industry I’ve met many very intelligent women who love science, and are quite capable of doing a job, and in some case far exceed their coworkers.

    Link to this
  3. 3. mikegonzalez2k 10:21 am 09/30/2012

    Here’s a better video

    Link to this
  4. 4. Emily_Heseltine 4:35 am 12/7/2012

    Here’s a brilliant spoof -

    Link to this

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