These two enterprising science writers, Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj, the ‘Labhoppers’ are now bringing out two books we cannot wait to read – on our very own women scientists in India.
One of my fondest memories as a child is sitting with my elder brother and watching Discovery Channel; I would constantly ask him questions about how things work or if I would ever get a chance to go to space. In school, some concepts would go over my head but I would never lose interest in the subject – I felt incredibly inspired whenever I understood a concept. That’s the thing about science; something so complex lives all around us and sometimes, even within us. We’re all a part of science and we all have an impact on it in some way or another.
This is why two freelance science writers Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj began a project called The Life of Science. Journaling biographies of women scientists focussing on their journeys and reasons for dropping out of academics, these two women are bringing to light the importance of science and most importantly, the impact of women in science. They call themselves Lab Hoppers as they hop across laboratories and research institutions in India. These two enthusiastic young writers have taken it upon themselves to find the reason for the high attrition rate of women scientists.
To do this, they have travelled across India and interviewed scientists to find the reasons first hand. They have a weekly update on their website, The Life of Science, and have published over 100 interviews of women scientists. I would highly recommend going through their site as it provides us with a rich view of women in science today.
Now, the duo is bringing out two books namely, Lab Hopping and 30 Top Women Scientists in India which is aimed at the younger generation to stimulate interest and awake the scientist in them too. A leading publishing house has agreed to publish both books as well.
I feel this is important because lots of women do the academic part of their science degrees but that does not always translate to them becoming a part of the workforce. They let go of their dream halfway because at some point they are told that their dream isn’t as important or that raising a family should be priority. The stories about women scientists in their writings tell us how gender is no reason to stop pursuing their dream, specially in a male-dominated field like science.
However, the writing of these brilliant books involves traveling and conducting research – at least another 12 months of desk work, writing time and reviewing current and historical literature – basically, giving it their all. This will also require money and it is being done by crowd funding through Bitgiving. They have estimated a sum of around 6 lakhs for this and around 5 lakhs have already been collected (at the time of writing this article).
The Crowd funding is as important as the research itself to improve the gender representation in this extremely important field of science. The enterprising duo and their interesting project have been covered in the world as well as national media and received encouraging support from the readers. However, a lot remains to be done. Only a dismal 12% of the scientist workforce is female and the Lab Hoppers are hoping to revive interest and improve the gender equality in this field.
You can help them achieve their goal by donating to their cause through the Bitgiving crowd funding or you can help the project by spreading awareness and encouraging people to check out their site!
They need all the support they can get.
Let us make the world of science a more gender equal and women friendly place for the future!
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