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Women in STEM

Championing the roles of women in STEM

EdSciFest is proud to champion the achievements of women in science and science communication, and we strive for gender balance across our programme.  

The under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and the stereotypes – that it belongs to those who are white, male, middle class and brainy – persist, despite many long-standing initiatives to boost young women’s interest. 

This stereotype cannot be combatted with lipstick logos and girls-only campaigning. Instead we need to promote, encourage and inspire the next generation through events and initiatives that showcase amazing, identifiable women in STEM to communicate a message of equality. 

In practical terms, EdSciFest is committed to increasing the number of women taking part in the Festival. We are delighted that 60% of our Festival speakers this year are women working in Science Communication, Research and Industry.

The 2021 Festival programme sees us continue our efforts; demonstrating that STEM is about creativity, imagination and changing the world, and that it offers a wealth of opportunities for people of all abilities and backgrounds. 

Our dedicated Women in STEM Street Art Trail acts as a highly visual focal point for our efforts this year, but our approach is reflected across the programme, with some truly amazing women talking about their fascinating work in STEM. 

Check out these 2021 highlights:

Women in STEM Trail


In Conversation with Sacha Dench

The Edinburgh Medal – Heidi Larson

StrongWomen Science Show


Joan Davidson led Edinburgh Science’s Learning programme for 12 years and stood out for her dedication to inspiring young people to explore, study and develop a lifelong love of science and technology.  

Her deep-rooted commitment to equality and her belief that every child deserves a fighting chance, and that learning can help empower them to face whatever the world might throw at them (and that if it can be great fun in the process then so much the better), made her an exceptional champion of our Learning programmes.  

Joan changed the lives of countless young people and her actions exemplified her passion for knowledge, championing of the underdog and her flying of the flag for women in science. 

We dedicate the 2021 EdSciFest Women in STEM programme to Joan’s memory.