Yesterday was the United Nation’s International Women and Girls in Science Day.

This year the theme of the day was ‘Women scientists at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19‘, and saw experts working in fields related to the pandemic from different parts of the world coming together for a virtual assembly. We are delighted that, here at Downside, we have so many aspiring scientists – boys and girls, who have a wide range of interests relating to the field, from the biochemistry of the brain to CRISPR gene editing. As part of our observance of the day, some of our young female scientists shared their thoughts on science:

With science ‘you will never be finished learning about something, but I think that is what makes it interesting.’ – Current Sixth Form Girl

‘What I love about science is the way that there is so much to discover about our world’ – Current First Form Girl

‘I simply find it amazing how just a simple sequence of tiny DNA bases can define our life.’ – Current Sixth Form Girl

‘Science is about the exploration of how all of life is connected in a vast tapestry which continues to grow as more connections are found and weaved into the art.’ – Current Fourth Form Girl

As well as finding out what exploration of the scientific world means for some of our current pupils, one of our new Third Form (Year 9) pupils – due to join the Downside Community this September 20201 – sent us her thoughts on #womeninscience:

‘I think that female scientists are very important and are sometimes forgotten or not given credit for their work even if they have just helped with the work. Think of Rosalind Franklin; she played a very big role in discovering the structure of DNA although when we think of this discovery we think of James Watson and Francis Crick who then won a Nobel prize for this discovery. The funny thing is that at first Franklins father rejected the idea because he felt that it was inappropriate. Finally, her father agreed to the idea and then Franklin proceeded to get a PhD in physical chemistry which proved everyone wrong about their doubts and worries.

I really enjoy science because I feel that you get to use your creative and logical skills. I would like to focus on science as being a potential future career because I feel that you need creativity to boost your logic and logic to boost your creativity. For example, in a science model you need to know the information to know what to show but you then need your creativity skills to show the information in an original and dynamic way.’