he is called “Matilda effectAlthough it bears a woman’s name, it is not in her interest for it to appear. on the contrary. WhyMatilda effect In fact it is more precisely about absence Invisibility.
That woman who, despite spending her time and sometimes obtaining interesting results, especially in the scientific field, remains forever in the shadows. Invisible, in fact, to current history books and memory. Just because she is a woman.
from Matilda monuments Centuries are full of them, and that’s where the thinking of Professor Marco Boscolo, a science journalist who teaches science communication at the University of Bologna, Department of Physics and Astronomy, met an audience of young University of Bologna students. Amedeo di Savoia Scientific Secondary School in Pistoia.
Preview: Women and Science
The first taste of the festival on the themes of gender equality”even and odd“, which was also adopted this year Schoolssowing the seeds of contemplation among boys and girls, which in the next few days will find the discussion room on the topic in the Lo Spazio library (via Curtatone e Montanara 20-22 in Pistoia)Women and science“.
Of masculine and feminine themes, which have long since become more widespreadHe writes“, to undermine this exclusively rooted logic Tracks To stereotype threat, which runs through the obvious The gap between men and women Also recognized in the Nobel Prize awards, even the false myths with which current society is also filled: this is how Boscolo attracted the audience, presenting concrete examples starting from history.
In 1870, Matilda Joslyn Gage published Women as Inventors – a historical tour de force. Women inventors It has been virtually excluded from the history books. Thus the phrase “Matilda effect” was coined, to refer specifically to the disappearance of these figures, especially in science. Two other stories I consider symbolic and representative.
First, German mathematics Emmy Noether, whose contribution on the effects of Einstein’s theory of relativity, known as Noether’s theorem, was exceptional. However, her life is full of obstacles, precisely because she is a woman: she enters university late, completes her doctorate but no university offers her a job.
Again: it’s a woman. Even her illustrious colleagues insist on calling her a “Noether,” believing it incongruous that such a talent should reside in a woman.
And then the story Rosalind Franklin, chemist, author of the famous picture 51 thanks to which the true structure of DNA was confirmed. “A discovery of historical importance, which has never been officially recognised.”
Nobel Prizes and Universities: Men are always black
the chapter Nobel Prizes: From 1901 to 2022 Only 49 They went to the women. And the University Trustees? Mostly by men. In Italy, only seven out of eighty directors are run by women. It is the fault of the so-called English-style “leaky pipe”. Leaky pipelineThat is, the distraction that occurs during a course of study that leads to an academic career and which always ends up harming them, women.
“Women are more suitable for some subjects, men are more suitable for others”: this is one of the false myths that is still widespread – insists Boscolo – There is nothing more wrong to believe, because such statements have no scientific or biological evidence.
What to do to reverse the trend? He explains What does it mean to “be smart”., bringing increasingly frequent examples of women who with their stories help break down stereotypes, and understand how stereotype threat itself works. Well, in general, I think what needs to be done is to change one’s point of view, and evaluate all possible points of view. Because in this diversity lies wealth.”
Even Festival and Desbury
After this first taste of the festival, here’s the show scheduled for Thursday 9 November (6pm) at Lo Spazio Library in Pistoia (Via Curtatone e Montanara 20-22) where Agnese Bini, director of Quotidiano Nazionale, La Nazione, Il Giorno, Il Resto del Carlino and Luce!, will present her book “Autumn in August” (Chiariletere, 2023) in dialogue with Claudio Rosati, historian, journalist and curator of many Museums, and former director of the museum sector in the Tuscany region.
The festival will come to life in days November 16, 17, 18 and 19, also in the Lo Spazio Library in Pistoia. Provide each guest with ideas for book novelties that fit well with the festival’s themes.
We begin by hosting the journalist and writer Lydia Ravera (November 16 at 6 p.m.) on topics Age bias We continue with the writer Antonella Lattanzi (November 17 at 6 p.m.) A conversation with Dr. Vito Sella about this generation of women who have chosen to become Mothers of a more mature age.
Double events on 18 November, the first (4.30pm) with CERN journalist and science communicator V Ginevra Paola Catapano Which, under pressure from Elec Aliardi, a high school teacher, will tell about her adventure.”Between science and ice“On Polarquest2018 and then (6.30pm) with the neuroscientist Giorgio Valortigara In an interview with journalist Cesare Sartori and neurologist Laura Tirelli.
The exhibition closes on November 19 (6pm) with photographer Luca Bracalli and Chiara Montanari, engineer and the first Italian woman to lead an international expedition to Antarctica. Lisa Ciardi, a La Nazione journalist, will moderate.
In its second edition this year, the festival aims to open a discussion about gender stereotypes that are still rooted in our society. It was created by lawyer Chiara Mazzeo, Equality Counselor of the Province of Pistoia, and Cristina Privitera, journalist and editor-in-chief of La Nazione di Firenze.
Organized in collaboration with the Lo Spazio library in Pistoia, Luce Portal! From the Monrif Group and supported by Chianti Banca, this event is part of the initiatives against gender stereotypes and femicide in the province of Pistoia, which sponsors the event.
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