**Pics free to use**Pictured: Artist Shona Hardie puts the finish touches to the portrait of Natalie Duffield at the North Edinburgh Arts centre watched by Valentina Maia 6Women in STEM Street Art TrailEurope’s biggest science festival focuses its 33rd edition on women in STEM.26 June – 11 JulyStarting this week, world’s first and still Europe’s biggest Edinburgh Science Festival celebrates women in STEM with a large-scale street art trail around the Scottish capital featuring 9 locations, each devoted to a different STEM professional whose passion and knowledge contributed to the world of science, technology, engineering and maths.The Trail is a visual representation of Edinburgh Science’s commitment to championing women in science and science communication and the fight against the under-representation of women in STEM and the stereotypes that persist, despite many long-standing initiatives to boost young women’s interest. Edinburgh Science is proud to present a Festival where 60% of guest speakers are women.Women in STEM Street Art Trail, supported by Edina Trust, showcases the inspiring achievements of:Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE (Lothian Street), the youngest girl to complete A-levels in computing at the age of 11, Oxford graduate at 20 and founder of Stemettes, an organisation dedicated to inspiring and supporting young women and non-binary people into STEM careers.Helen Sherman OBE (Citadel Youth Centre), first British Astronaut who in 1991 flew on a Soyuz rocket up to the Soviet, Mir Space Station. During her eight days in space, she conducted medical, agricultural and materials and Earth observation work.Talat Yaqoob (WHALE Arts), award-winning Scottish campaigner, writer and activist passionate about improving women’s access to STEM subjects and politics.Natalie Duffield (North Edinburgh Arts), a digital innovator who, following a personal tragedy, decided to not go to university but work and earn – she is now the CEO of InTechnology SmartCitie who provides free WiFi in central Edinburgh, which is a paid for by the company meaning the Council doesn’t have to spend a penny.Lorna Prendergast (The Space / Broomhouse Hub), a 90-years-old Melbourne University graduate with master’s in ageing who now continues her investigation into the correlation between music and dementia symptom relief via a music therapy trial which started in July 2020.Dr Aline Finger (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh), a conservation geneticist and molecular ecologist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, focusing on the conservation of rare, threatened or important plant species in Scotland.Dr Helen Senn (Edinburgh Zoo), Head of Conservation and Science at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS). Overseeing all 23 wild conversation projects and working as a conservation genetics specialist, Helen supports reintroduction projects for critically endangered species, such as the dama gazelle and the addax.Dr Kathy Sullivan (Dynamic Earth), first American woman to complete a spacewalk (1984, Space Shuttle Challenger), the first woman to travel to the bottom of the ocean (2020, Challenger Deep in the Marian Trench, seven miles below the surface). After the dive, Kathy made a phone call to the International Space Station, marking the two extremes of human exploration.Zarina Ahmad (Summerhall), climate justice and race equality advocate who has been dedicated to increasing participation and improving funding access for under-represented groups.These inspiring, large-scale portraits have been produced by artists Shona Hardie – known for her portraits of the late DJ Andy Weatherall and the legendary Leith figure Arthur Williams – and Kerry Wilson.Festival Director Amanda Tyndall said: “Promoting opportunities for women in STEM is a topic very close to my heart and this year not only is our programme packed with amazing women talking about fascinating science but the street art trail takes this message to the streets of Edinburgh and, we hope, will play a small part in inspiring the next generation.”Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE said: “Two of my favourite things about being a woman in STEM: I can dream something up and create it and I can genuinely solve problems for others using my STEM knowhow.”Dr Helen Senn, RZSS Head of Conservation and Science Programmes said: “It is always exciting to showcase our charity’s worldwide wildlife conservation work as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival and a real honour to be featured in the Women in STEM Street Art Trail this year.“Recovering species on the edge of extinction is only possible through collaboration and, with our planet facing an extinction crisis, it is more important than ever before to find ways to break down barriers and empower more people from a wide range of backgrounds to gain the skills needed to protect animals across the globe.”Geraldine Marais, Trust Secretary at Edina Trust said: “Edina Trust is proud to have sponsored the Edinburgh Science Festival since 2005. Edina’s main aim is to enhance primary science teaching and learning across the UK by supporting schools, science providers, and science festivals. Edina views science as a key part of children’s learning from the start, to make sense of the world we live in, and to provide opportunities to pursue a career in the world of STEM in our ever-changing world. Part of this includes encouraging girls to consider a future in STEM by supporting their learning through hands-on science activities at an early age.”The Festival’s 2021 line-up features an inspiring line-up of female STEM professionals, authors and explorers from around the world, including, among many others, such names as Prof. Linda Bauld who is an adviser to the Covid-19 Committee of the Scottish Parliament; astronautical engineer Cassandra Mercury; Mya-Rose Craig, an 19 year old prominent British Bangladeshi birder, conservationist and environmentalist whose blog clocked 5 million views; quantum gravity, theoretical physics expert Dr Sonali Mohapatra who is part of the technical team of the upcoming ROKS mission which will be launched in 2022; and Prof. Heidi Larson, founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project and the recipient of this year’s prestigious Edinburgh Medal.All these events, alongside the Trail, constitute the Festival’s ambitious Women in STEM programme which is dedicated to the memory of Joan Davidson who led Edinburgh Science’s Learning programme for 12 years and stood out for her dedication to inspiring young people to explore, study and develop a lifelong love of science and technology. /ENDSNotes to editors:Images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/tlswi1c44eyqusv/AADY_PsuCnjvKp8-4wufQROUa?dl=0To find out more about the Festival’s Women in STEM programme visit: https://www.sciencefestival.co.uk/women-in-stemEdinburgh ScienceEdinburgh Science, founded in 1989, is an educational charity that aims to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them. The organisation is best known for organising Edinburgh’s annual Science Festival: the world’s first festival of science and technology and still one of Europe’s largest.The two-week Festival provides wide and diverse audiences with amazing science-themed experiences through a diverse programme of innovative events for adults and families. Alongside the annual Festival in Edinburgh, the organisation has a strong focus on education, running a touring programme, Generation Science, that brings science to life for primary schools around Scotland throughout the year, and running an annual Careers Hive event which promotes STEM careers to young people.After programming on the themes of climate change and the environment for many years, in 2019 Edinburgh Science awarded the Edinburgh Medal to Christiana Figueres, the inspirational Costa Rican diplomat instrumental in the Paris Climate agreement. Inspired by this visit, Edinburgh Science established the Climate Opportunity Ideas Factory, a forum for all sectors to come together and generate collaborative actionable ideas that accelerate our transition to a zero-carbon world.Edinburgh Science also shares its content and expertise internationally through Edinburgh Science Worldwide and operates a large-scale international programme of work. It regularly presents events overseas and is currently the Major Programming Partner of the annual Abu Dhabi Science Festival, helping to curate, produce and deliver the event. For international partners, the team at Edinburgh Science provide engaging content, curatorial advice on programming and business planning support, along with expert staff and training for local science communicators.www.sciencefestival.co.ukEdina Trust was founded in 2002 by Professor Sir Edwin M. Southern FRSE. He is best known for the ground-breaking invention known as the Southern blot, a molecular biology technique frequently used for the detection of specific DNA. He is also known as the inventor of the microarray, a tool used to detect the expression of thousands of genes at the same time.To learn more about the work of the Edina Trust visit our website: https://www.edinatrust.org.uk/ For further information, interviews or photos please contact Magda Paduch at The Corner Shop PR: magda@thecornershoppr.com / 0758 316 4070.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.