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Watch Marvel’s Elizabeth Henstridge, Aisha Tyler, & More Discuss the Media’s Portrayal of Women in STEM

In association with Girls Who Code, the Paley Center in New York presents an evening talking women in science, technology, engineering, and math with some women you may know and love.

Tonight our Victoria McNally is attending the event which will host Agents of SHIELD’s Elizabeth Henstridge, Silicon Valley writer Carrie Kemper, Archer’s Aisha Tyler, Actress, David Bushman,Television Curator of The Paley Center for Media, and Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.

What role can entertainment programming play in galvanizing girls and women to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields? Women hold under twenty-five percent of our country’s STEM jobs, and while education, recruitment, mentoring, and other support networks all have crucial roles to play in offsetting this imbalance, evidence suggests that characters like Simmons and Chloe can make a difference, by functioning as persuasive role models and changing perceptions that STEM fields are unwelcoming to women. Witness, for example, the so-called “CSI effect,” crediting programs with strong female leads like the CSI franchise and Bones for the statistical dominance of women enrollees in forensic-science programs at colleges across the country.

This panel brings together television actors, writers, and producers to assess media portrayals of women in the STEM fields over the decades, contemplating what advances if any have been made and what can be done as we look to the future. Illustrative clips from the Paley Center archives will be screened, showcasing a wide range of representations from Silicon Valley to The Big Bang Theory. As Dana Scully—as valiant a champion of systemized knowledge as television has ever known—once advised her recalcitrant X-Files partner: “Listen, Mulder, what you can’t question is the science.”

We’ll have more for you later in the week but if you’re around, Paley is livestreaming the panel at 6:05pm EST on their website. If you have questions for the panel or would like to share with Paley who your favorite TV scientists are, use the hashtag #PaleyImpact.

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Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” (TheNerdyBird.com). She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."