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An inspiring day for budding geniuses

An inspiring day for budding geniuses

About 160 budding female scientists participated on Friday in the first edition of “Women’s Science,” an event aimed at introducing teenage girls to different aspects of the field.

Programming, engineering, artificial intelligence… Even if the word science is simple, it is very broad.

“Being researchers, we don't really know what it's like, but by organizing more events like this to democratize science among young people, it can interest them more and open up prospects for their future,” says the first researcher. Inofiber, Nathalie Bordeaux.

Technoscience wants to show young girls that scientific careers are not just for men, when even today in some companies, men dominate.

“Of course I would have liked to have that, especially to have role models. I didn't know any female scientists. At first, I tied my hair up, and I dressed very seriously to try to gain a little credibility when I spoke, because when I opened my mouth, it wasn't very thoughtful.” More so than when he was a man, it was “obvious,” admitted Nancy Diesel, director of the National Center for Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies in Shawinigan.

Three women who have earned their place in science spoke to the teens, including Dr. Caroline Quach.

“We have put brakes and barriers on ourselves that don't necessarily need to be there, so if you can remove them and make them realize that we are the ones stopping… after that, there are no limits anymore,” explained the woman, who is also a microbiologist, infectious disease specialist, pediatrician and full professor in the departments of Microbiology, Infection, Immunology and Pediatrics at the University of Montreal.

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There should have been 100 of them participating on this day, but in the end there were 60 more.

“This shows that times have evolved and that there are fewer biases towards women in science,” noted Julie Levesque, director of the Research and Development Hub at the Quebec Center for Mineralogy.

Women's Science is sure to be back next year. The organization hopes to ignite the scientific flame among twice the number of teenage girls.