In an effort to get more girls interested in science the European Commission decided to start the “Science: It’s A Girl Thing!” campaign. It was a noble goal with very poor execution. The Science girl ad has been criticized by several female scientists and bloggers who say that the ad is condescending to women and promotes modeling more than it does science.
The video shows several perky young girls walking into a lab filled with male scientists. The lab then transforms into a runway and the girls dance around as images of molecules, lipstick, petri dishes, and nail polish flash on the screen.
The LA Times reports that the “i” in “science” in the video is even swapped out with a tube of lipstick.
Geologist and blogger Sharon Hill wrote on Twitter:
“It’s as if Disney channel male execs do ‘science Barbie.’ Terrible.”
Astronomer Dr. Meghan Gray posted her own video in response to the science girl ad. Dr. Gray said that she was “disappointed that this video was thought to be appropriate.”
Ben Goldacre, author of the Guardian’s “Bad Science” column, wrote: “The EU have funded a campaign to make women in science wear shorter skirts.”
A Youtube user writes: “How condescending this is, not only to the female scientists but also to science itself if people really believe that this ‘fashionized’ video is in any way representative for what is going on in research labs.”
According to the Mashable, the European Commission pulled the ad a few days after it was released. Several Youtube users have already uploaded new copies, however, so it doesn’t look like the science girl ad is going to die anytime soon.
Here’s the “Science: It’s A Girl Thing” video.
What do you think of the science girl ad? Is it condescending to women?