Hidden Perspectives is pleased to introduce a new member to the team. Rather than telling you about her, and what a great asset she is sure to be to the HP team, i’ll let her interview speak for itself!
Please could you tell our readers a bit about yourself?
My name is Jessica Rowley and I am a Science Communication MSc student at the University of Sheffield.
I was born in Chesterfield and I am the first in my immediate family to go to University. I have always had an interest in science, spurred on by the vast number of science fiction films that I grew up on, and this led to me going on to study Biomedical Science. During my degree I discovered that I didn’t really enjoy the research side of the subject which is why I have branched out into the communication side of things. My heroes are great scientists/science communicators like Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Brian Cox, and I found that I loved the work they did and wanted to be part of it myself, which is why I’m now studying for my masters.
Why did you get involved with Hidden Perspectives?
The reason for my involvement in Hidden Perspectives is because my dissertation is going to be exploring the dissemination of engineering in the media. Engineering in the UK has a major gender gap and I want to explore why women are being put of studying it. I’m really excited about the project and hope to understand a little bit more about this issue!
How will you be working with the Hidden Perspectives project?
I will be working with Hidden Perspectives as part of my dissertation. I am hoping to find out what effect the media has on young people’s perceptions of what an engineer is and what an engineer does. Only 8% of engineers in the UK are women, but in places like China the number is more like 30%, meaning there must be some cultural effect. I will be working with a focus group in a school, running interviews and trying to find out how the children view this topic. I will also be producing a video to try and break down the gender stereotypes in this industry. Katie Edwards will be supervising me throughout because of her extensive knowledge on gender and sexuality in culture. Hidden perspectives provides a great platform for me to discuss ideas and showcase my research surrounding gender and underrepresentation in the sciences.