Film and Panel discussion on Womxn in Science Posted on November 4th, 2020 by

On October 23 and 24, the Society of Physics Students and Womxn in Physics club hosted about 50 students and guests for film screenings of the documentary “Picture a Scientist”. The film explores the difficult experiences of womxn in STEM fields. Faculty at Gustavus participated in panel sessions following the film viewings. 


The film “Picture a Scientist” uses personal stories and statistics to show the gender discrimination female scientists have faced and challenged in the academy. Ana Zaalishvili ‘22 , who initiated this event with the support of continuing assistant professor Darsa Donelan (Physics), commented: “For myself and other womxn, it is very important to watch it because I feel more prepared knowing that this kind of thing might happen… and for our allies to be more aware.”


Faculty panelists included: Jalean Petricka (Biology), Liz Boatman (Physics), Melissa Lynn (Mathematics), and Jill Locke (Political Science and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies), Darsa Donelan (Physics), and Pamela Conners (Communication Studies). 


Dr. Donelan responded to the film stating, “Our feelings are absolutely valid, and things are getting better, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop fighting.”


Students of The Society of Physics Students and Womxn in Physics club, had been working together to plan this event for over a month, and according to Zaalishvili the effects of the film have already been showing in the Gustavus community. “There has been increasing awareness in STEM about gender bias, and not just bias but also gender discrimination and harassment,” said Locke.


In the coming semesters, Dr. Donelan plans to put on this event again to reach a larger audience. As Dr. Donelan states, “It’s not just a science issue, it’s a human issue.”


Comments are closed.