Be a woman

Women in Astronomy. Yes the playing field is far from 50/50 and much needs to be done to encourage young girls to pursue careers in Astronomy with equal opportunities for all.

I am aware of the world-wide movement to better the situation of every women in Astronomy, be it professional or amateur.

In the same vein we must not push aside or step on our male collegues and friends. Come to think of it, males outnumber females in all my astronomy circles. I have not given that much thought. In my quest to learn as much as I can, gender has never played a role. I have been taught, guided and inspired by amazing gentlemen and women. Should I be keeping statistics, how many men, how many women?

There are reports of women being harrassed and yes the issue needs to be addressed urgently.

I have never been harassed, bullied or shoved aside by men. I have never felt intimidated and so I have to thank all the men for putting up with me, for all the ecouragement and inspiration and especially for the time they have spent to teach me well. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. Maybe it’s much harsher in the professional world.

Were should woman start? Be a woman. Be beautiful. Be focused. Be professional. Be kind. Be sympathetic. Be nurturing. Be determined but never evil.

Meet Dr Karen Masters and Stargazer Lottie

Dr-Karen-MastersForget about Barbie and the Disney Princesses. Stargazer Lottie won the Little Scientists category in Space.com’s 2015 Space Age Awards at the 112th annual North American International Toy Fair in New York City (Feb 2015)

The story goes that a five year old from Canada, named Abby, came up with the idea for Stargazer Lottie to join a line-up of super cool dolls.

Arklu Ltd had already produced Pirate Queen Lottie, Kawaii Karate Lottie, Robot Girl Lottie and Fossil Hunter Lottie. Creative designer of Arklu Ltd and co-founder of Lottie Dolls, Lucy Follet,  worked in collaboration with the European Space Agency to produce Stargazer Lottie.

As Abby had suggested, Stargazer Lottie would have her own telescope and constellation charts, posters of the Earth, the Moon and Venus as well as stars on her clothing. Lucy Follet called on astrophysicist, Karen Masters, senior lecturer in the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, to advise on all things astronomical. Now Stargazer Lottie’s box also includes a sheet with the biographies of famous women astronomers.

If Lottie Dolls catch on big time, little girls will toss away their make-up, high heels and jewellery, wear sensible clothing, stand firmly on there own two feet and aspire to become the future’s great scientists.

Lottie Dolls website: http://www.lottie.com/
Watch Lottie: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnLaTXMfrhA

In 2014 Dr Karen Masters won the Women of the Future Award in the science category.
“This category recognises a group of truly remarkable young female scientists, forging new ground in research and scientific achievement”
On receiving the award Dr Masters said: “It’s a real honour to be recognised alongside this group of extraordinary women. I’m delighted that the Women of the Future Awards include this science category; it highlights how important it is for women to be part of our scientific culture.
I’m passionate about demonstrating that science is for everyone. I do this through my work with the citizen science project, Galaxy Zoo, in which more than 400,000 people help my research on galaxies, and through helping to encourage young women (as well as men) to consider science as an exciting, creative and important area to study.”
Women of the Future awards: https://www.ras.org.uk/news-and-press/news-archive/254-news-2014/2527

Dr Karen Masters Website :http://icg.port.ac.uk/~mastersk/