“We must combat inequality in access to science to produce more accurate and valid knowledge.”

PhD in sociology and lecturer in educational sciences at the Catholic University of the West, Clemence Peronnet wrote in No sports bump found (Anders, 272 p., 19 euros) The results of his thesis work on children’s taste for science. She believes that the overwork of girls and working-class children in science is the result of mechanisms of exclusion and a form of social control that she advocates combating.

The taste for science seems to evaporate very quickly among girls and children from the lower classes. You bring new interpretations to this situation. How did you come to this observation?

This is probably the best starting point for every terrain. I started this social survey in CM1 classes which I then found at 5NS, in Lyon. The question was why there are so few girls in science. The initial hypothesis, which was soon disproved, was that they may have had fewer cultural practices associated with the sciences. I was invited by the Scientific Mediation Association who was running a project with Priority Education Network schools, so I also asked myself a question for the juniors from the lower grades, girls and boys. In this social profile, girls had the most scientific hobbies outside of school, such as watching popular programs such as “C’est pas sorcier”. It was the girls who told me: “Science, I like, I want to go, I can do, I look forward to it!” “ Then the enthusiasm subsided.

You describe this leakage during your studies. What is happening now?

There are very specific changes to the life experience of children, the transition into adolescence, the reorganization of groups of friends, the place in the family, the roles we can play for children, and girls in particular.

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What contributes to this transformation for them is seeing the figures of scholars in all these cultures that consume them, totally unattractive because they are often men, old and ugly. They wonder if they themselves would get ugly and a little crazy if they continued like this. The rare female characters in popular science magazines have long been portrayed at home, or worse, as pitchers, even as they get older.

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Megan Vasquez

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