More than 75 TEDTalks showing women in science and tech

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

“Science: It’s a Girl Thing!” That’s what is claimed in a goofy public service announcement, made by the European Commission, which aims to convince young women that science careers are in fact “cool.” Naturally, for a few days the Twittersphere has been atwitter over the very pink ad, which instead shows that girls can simultaneously do science and appear in an ’80s music video … ?

Today on Boingboing, Maggie Koerth-Baker has posted a great response to the ad, in the form of an interview with Dr. Margo Seltzer, a computer scientist at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In the interview, Seltzer says that she does think the public image of “scientists” as male affects young girls’ desire to join the ranks.

“As a society we’ve done a really, really bad job of marketing what it means to be in software,” Seltzer says. “If you ask somebody, ‘What does a computer programmer look like?’ I think almost everyone in the world will give you the same description — it’s a nerdy guy with no social skills.”

Not. True. If you’re looking for images of female software designers, or female scientists more generally, browse these TEDTalks from 70+ physicists, biologists, science writers, psychologists, engineers, doctors, technologists, oceanographers, roboticists, even an astronaut. Just click around the text block below …

Diane KellyMelissa GarrenTali SharotChristina WarinnerRegina DuganNoel Bairey MerzLucianne WalkowiczLucianne Walkowicz againQuyen NguyenSheila NirenbergThe three teenagers who won the Google Science Fair last yearMichelle BorkinCheryl HayashiCynthia KenyonJen PahlkaErica FrenkelLisa HarouniAnna Mracek DietrichAngela BelcherSusan LimCynthia BreazealNalini Nadkarni againJane McGonigalCat LainéJanine Benyus againCatherine MohrCarolyn Porco againPattie MaesSusan Savage-RumbaughElizabeth MurchisonDyan deNapoliJessica GreenNina TandonEdith WidderEdith Widder againAnnmarie ThomasIsabel BehnckeJanna LevinPatricia KuhlHawa Abdi and Deqo MohamedAriel GartenHeather KnightDeborah RhodesBarbara BlockJessa GambleLaurie SantosAditi ShankardassDee BoersmaJuliana Machado FerreiraTemple GrandinAndrea GhezRachel PikeRachel ArmstrongRebecca SaxeNina JablonskiMary RoachCarolyn PorcoMae JemisonMargaret WertheimBonnie BasslerNalini NadkaniJill TarterSylvia EarlePenelope BostonJane GoodallJane Goodall againPatricia BurchatLouise LeakeyHelen FisherHelen Fisher againJill Bolte TaylorDeborah GordonTierney ThysJanine BenyusEva VertesSheila Patek

Comments (7)

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  • Muhammad Jamshed Minhas commented on Jul 14 2012

    Apple claims to disagree with the recent decision of Antitrust

    Read more:

  • Solaris Phlox commented on Jul 9 2012

    LOL! That first video shows a really fluffed up version of science women. LOL. It looks like some kind of cheese-ball music video!!
    Real science is hard work and endless failure. It’s not always glamourous either! (if ever). Digging through bat crap to see what it ate isnt really something you do while wearing your fave heels and a bright pink top… unless you are me. Hehe. But I dont generally dig through bat crap. That’s not my end of science. :D

    ANYWAYS The response video is interesting but only because it protrays the sensitive ‘nerdy’ science girl. Which is also not the best image either because that is basically ‘glasses/ ponytail’ girl from She’s All That.

    REAL science women are not afraid to fail and might be sensitive and wear their hair in a pony tail, but they are not meant to be type cast in this way. They have all the insecurities, imprefections, and scars that any other woman has. Just be who you are and do what you want..even if that means digging through bat crap while wearing heels or a full-body suit and mask. :)

  • Margo Seltzer commented on Jul 6 2012

    I think your numbers just made the point: “Over 75+ TED talks by women.” out of a total of over a 1000 TED talks. When I go to the current page for TED talks, the front page shows me 18 men and 2 women. By any standard, your own numbers are lower than the average in pretty much every field.

  • Benjamin Blake commented on Jul 6 2012

    Clearly shows that women are no less than men in any field.