The impact of more women in science

Van der Heyden began her career as a particle physicist at CERN, the particle accelerator in Switzerland. She discovered that science was essentially a man’s world and chose science journalism. She writes for various newspapers and has several books to her name. She often writes about women in science, past and present. In her book unknown She writes about important female scientists in history.

She has now been a part-time professor of Science Communication at TU Eindhoven for a number of years. That university was in the news this month because for the first time it was able to hire 50% females and 50% males into open positions at the university.

“You tend to hire someone who looks like you, which is why there has been structural discrimination against female applicants for decades,” says van der Heijden. If you want to correct that, you need the kind of radical policies that eventually lead to as many women being employed as men. “Science, technology and society are very intertwined. The more people think about science, the more perspectives you have, and the better for science applications,” says van der Heyden.

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Megan Vasquez

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