In the quest for strategies to increase participation of women in Physics

4 March 2002 - A major international Conference on Women in Physics is to be held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 7-9 March 2002. The event is being organized by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) in co-operation with a wide range of sponsors from France, Japan, the UK, the USA, as well as international bodies such as European Commission, European Science Foundation, European Physical Society, the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Latin American Centre for Physics and UNESCO.

The principal goal of the Conference is to understand the causes of severe under-representation of women in Physics world-wide and to develop major strategies to increase their participation in this basic area of science that underlies the progress in many other areas of modern science and high technology. Some 300 participants from over 60 countries are expected to take part in the brain-storming talks that will stem from plenary presentations by women scientists from Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA. (More)

The Science Agenda - Framework for Action approved by the WCS urged governments, international organizations, universities and research institutions to ensure the full participation of women in the planning, orientation, conduct and assessment of research activities. In his letter to Professor Burton Richter, President, IUPAP, Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO, emphasized that the IUPAP Conference will be one of the series of important events responding to the recommendations of WCS.

Key topics to be discussed include learning from regional differences; improving the institutional structure and climate for women in Physics; balancing family and career, attracting girls into Physics, launching a successful Physics career and getting women into the Physics power structure - nationally and internationally. Physicists from around the world will be able to take ideas, strategies and conference recommendations back to their countries, and hopefully catalyse tangible action for positive change. Experience gained from the IUPAP Conference will clearly be instructive and useful for many other branches of sciences.

 

For further information, write to: r.clair@unesco.org