Way back at the beginning of this summer, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation began a campaign of informational videos and advertising designed, they hoped, to normalize the idea of women in the sciences and get young laides interested in a STEM career. Their flagship offering, however, missed the mark by quite a bit. The video was almost a parody of its purpose, there was a significant backlash, and Science: It’s A Girl Thing was forced to give itself a hard self evaluation. I found the whole thing to be very disappointing, not least because the other videos they had in their flagship YouTube channel were exactly the right thing: well produced and edited microdocumentaries on the work of actual living female scientists and researchers. It seemed like their hearts were in the right place, but they’d stumbled on their first step.
After accepting critique, ECDGR decided to hold a contest for folks to film a new introductory video for their campaign, and the chosen winners will make you feel a lot better about them. Watch the first above (from France), and the second below (from Australia).
One “viewer’s choice” runner up was selected, and the honor went to this American video: