Women in physics – ICWIP conference

28 July 2017 | Source: Women in physics – ICWIP conference

A team from Ireland recently presented a paper at the International Conference on Women in Physics in Birmingham organised by The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP).

The team, which was lead by Dr Yvonne Kavanagh from IT Carlow, commented on some positive developments around the position of women in physics in Ireland including a significant increase in the percentage of female physics postgraduate students (30% in 2016 compared with 19% in 2013) and the requirement from 2019 from funding agencies in Ireland that applicant colleges should have achieved at least the Bronze Award from the Athena Swan initiative. The paper noted, though, that in many areas the situation remains stubbornly unchanged with, for example, the number of girls taking physics at Leaving Certificate at 25% over the past decade, though their achievement levels are significantly higher than that of boys.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the President’s Medal of the IOP to Northern Ireland born astrophysicist, Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who later spoke on being a woman in physics in the UK over the past 50 years, on making a significant astrophysical discovery and on combining professional and family life. The medal is given entirely at the discretion of the IOP’s president to recognise and honour outstanding contributions to physics.

The Ireland team were also delighted when Nobel peace prize winner, Malala Yousafza, stopped by the Irish poster!

Malala Yousafza Picture by Laura Gladstone (MIT)

The Ireland team members were, Yvonne Kavanagh, (IT Carlow), Sheila Gilheany (IOP), Eilish McLoughlin (DCU), Miriam Byrne, (NUI Galway) Miryam Arredondo, (QUB), Katja Poppenhaeger (QUB) and Niamh Maher (UCD).

More pictures of the event are available of Flickr