My morning has begun with rage. This week the EU Commission launched a new campaign designed to encourage teenaged girls to go into science (apparently by breaking down stereotypes…) It’s called Science: It’s a girl thing. The campaign so far is basically a series of short, fairly-bland-but-inoffensive youtube clips introducing female scientists: a kind of ‘This is what a scientist looks like’ campaign, if you will, accompanied by various stats.
Overall it sounds like a well-meaning campaign that isn’t going to cost anyone much money, and might have a positive effect in making teenage girls see science as a valid career path for them. But hang on a second. There’s a PR machine behind this thing, which kicked off today. And it’s turning into a train crash.
First up, why the three dots have they launched the campaign with a Facebook page that says:
“Cosmetics, fashion, music and so much more…”
Because that’s all girls are interested in. SERIOUSLY?! Are you actually KIDDING me?!
And then I saw the YouTube ‘Official Teaser’ and died inside.
Edit: Within 24 hours the original video was taken down… but the internet is a wonderful thing!
I’m offended as a scientist, that whoever thought this up thinks that fashion is more exciting on any level than medicine, engineering or food security. I’m offended as a woman that they think the only way to get girls into science is to trick them into thinking it’s all pink and fluffy! I’m offended as a European that somebody SPENT MONEY on this rubbish.
Whoever is responsible for this is gonna lose some skin, one way or another.
SO MUCH RAGE!
Edit: This beautiful Venn Diagram by James Monk (via Facebook) sums up my feelings perfectly: