Aim for the stars, astronomer urges

Leading astronomer Anneila Sargent is the guest speaker at the University’s annual International Women’s Day Lecture.

Photo of Anneila Sargent

Professor Sargent, a past President of the American Astronomical Society and an advisor to the White House, will draw from her own experiences to discuss the challenges many women may face when entering a career in science.

Make it Happen - Women into Science will take place in the Michael Swann Lecture Theatre, Kings Buildings, on Friday 6 March.

Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, Professor Lesley Yellowlees, will chair the lecture by Professor Sargent.

Book tickets online

Tickets are free, but must be booked.Pre-lecture reception and refreshments from 5.15pm.

Friday 6 March 2015, 6.00pm

Friday 6 March 2015, 7.00pm

Michael Swann Lecture Theatre, King's Buildings

Find the Michael Swann Lecture Theatre on Google Maps

Book your ticket online

Remarkable Edinburgh alumna

Born and brought up in Fife, Anneila Sargent completed a BSc Honours degree in Physics at Edinburgh in 1963. She then went on to earn her PhD in Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), becoming Professor of Astronomy in 1998.

Professor Sargent has built up a strong scientific reputation internationally. Her recent interests are in the fields of star formation, and the possibility of other life forms existing beyond our solar system.

In 1998 she was presented with both the NASA Public Service Medal and the Caltech Woman of the Year award.

She now sits on the United States National Science Board - the team of academics advising Congress and the US President, Barack Obama.

Inspiring women, inspiring change

Building on last year’s successful Inspiring women, inspiring change portrait exhibition which featured women from many areas and disciplines across the University, the portraits are now available in a free app.

To install the app please follow the link below. The app has also been developed with an audio file which enables you to listen to the information on each of the featured women.

The voice over work was kindly performed by former Vice Principal Professor Lorraine Waterhouse who also features in this App.

A Chemical Imbalance

A Chemical Imbalance, a short book and documentary film which celebrate the achievements of female scientists and explore why women are under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

It aims to highlight some of the persistent challenges still faced by women, and hopes to contribute to the wider debate about how we can progress towards equality.

The book tells the story of how the University’s female scientists have fought for equality and the campaign to matriculate alongside the men.

The story also focuses on the School of Chemistry and trailblazers such as Professor Lesley Yellowlees, the first female president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In 2012 the School of Chemistry received the Athena Swan Gold Award in recognition of its significant and sustained progression in promoting diversity and gender equality.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated on and around 8 March each year.

It originated in 1911 as an official day to recognise suffrage and the economic, social and political achievements of women.

More than 100 years later, thousands of events are now held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate their achievements.

Further events

The Edinburgh University Students’ Union has also programmed a number of events for students and staff to engage with International Women’s Day.

Events include an introduction to gender studies, a discussion on women’s access to justice and a lecture by Chief Advisor for Peace and Security at UN Women, Professor Anne Marie Goetz.

The full programme of events and information on how to book tickets can be found on the EUSA website.

Inspirational exhibition

As part of an ongoing project celebrating the achievements of female scientists, the University will play a part in producing an exhibition at the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament.

The Potential Difference exhibition aims to create an historical archive of cutting-edge research spearheaded by female scientists, while also inspiring the next generation of female academics.

It will launch on Friday 10 April at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.