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European women in science TV Drama on Message

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More strong, hip women in TV science dramas

An innovative EU-funded initiative set out to change the image of women in science by supporting TV shows featuring them. The researchers made an excellent start at reaching a wide audience and positively influencing young women and their career decisions.

Digital Economy

Television plays a major role in influencing public opinion, particularly the opinions of young people. To date, programming demonstrates a lack of strong, hip female scientists and engineers. The ‘European women in science TV Drama on Message‘ (Eurowistdom) project set out to use popular entertainment formats on television to address the issue of underrepresentation of women in science, engineering and technology (SET). The Eurowistdom project was designed to select and award grants for scripts with SET content and strong female role models and to provide technical support via scientific advice to writers. Team members also worked to support marketing activities of the production companies and broadcasters. The results were quite encouraging. The investigators facilitated productive information exchange among authors, producers and television executives on the one hand and scientists, researchers and engineers on the other. The support provided by the investigators through the EU grant fostered confidence in the writers related to factual content and inspired enthusiasm on the part of all team players for this genre in TV drama. SET television shows with female role models have the potential to positively influence the career decisions of numerous young women, decreasing the gender gap and increasing EU competitiveness in the fields of science, technology and engineering. The Eurowistdom project paved the way for fruitful collaborations among technical experts and TV drama producers. The investigators thus made a major contribution to positively changing the face of women in science and engineering and to making this change highly visible.

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