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Real women in science often do not get their due, but there are a few movies about these women, collected here to inspire the scientific woman in you.
India is proving its mettle in space science again and again. The recent success in the field of space science when India launched 104 satellites from single rocket attracted a lot of media attention world wide. This trend has seen many articles coming out on the presence of women scientists in this project and more broadly about Indian women in Science.
Being an Indian woman and working in various fields of the Sciences for 16 years, I feel there is still an immense scope for improvement in the number of real women in Science and allied fields, the number of women playing a critical role in the important projects contributing to a larger development in the space, medical, material, and energy domains.
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It is on today’s parents to create a growth mindset among their daughters and encourage them to ask questions. Hunger for knowledge and curiosity are the two important parameters for getting into and staying in science careers – in any career for that matter. We need to facilitate our children with books and movies where they can read and know about other scientists or failed scientists too so that they get fodder for their dreams!
Here are 5 movies which can inspire you if you are interested in Science and can give your grown up daughter an idea about a very struggling but nevertheless exciting career in Science.
Actors: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, David Brisbin
This is the first movie of this kind for me, where the love for a cause and finding logical evidence has been highlighted so beautifully.
This is based on a true story. The movie also shows that you don’t need to be a scientist to work for your environment. Julia Roberts is fantastic. Her being a working woman and a parent, and struggling between the two for the quest of a meaningful job really made a lot of sense to me. I love the boss who believes in Erin Brockovich and gives her required due.
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Actors: Jennifer Lawrence. Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper
The will and ability to invent is a habit, and a woman can be equally in possession of this. This movie is again inspired by a true story and shows the journey of Joy (brilliantly played by Jennifer Lawrence) amidst several hurdles to achieve her goal of bringing a change in the lives of housewives with a self-wringing mop.
The movie shows the bias children faces in their families, and the competition and piracy prevalent in the world of scientific copyrights. How it is important to communicate well about your science. The movie has its flaws in its making but Joy could manage to put her message very clearly to my daughter.
Actors: Signourney Weaver, Bryan Brown, Julie Harris
This is the story of Dian Fossey, a scientist who came to Africa to study the vanishing mountain gorillas, and later fought to protect them.
Again a story of immense willpower and love for Science with a cause embedded in personal narrative. The story shows that sometimes extraordinary work gets highlighted to the world even when only one person is involved in it and that starts a new stream of interest to many others.
Actors: Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, David Strathairn
The movie is a biopic of Temple Grandin, an inspiring journey of an autistic woman, finding ways to deal with it and becoming one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry. How decisions of mothers affects and builds a child’s life.
This is again a story of a woman’s journey in pursuing science along with being part of society for a greater cause. A movie that shows how an individual can make a difference in the fields where much data is not available.
Actors: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae
And finally the movie that has been making rounds in the USA (nominated in the Oscars and won the Best Supporting Actress award) and now has arrived in Indian cinema halls. Please go and watch with your children the movie Hidden Figures.
This is a biographical drama based on a non fiction book with same name. It reached number one on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers list. It is a story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.
This is a multi layered story about colored women in mathematical sciences. The journey starts from not having a toilet for colored women in the institute, to dealing with scepticism among other scientists around them, to not having their name in reports and articles as a scientist.
This is a movie to watch and pause before the upcoming Women’s Day, look around. and ask – “Do we still have enough real women in science around us?”
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Image source: YouTube
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