Concurso de Videos Mujeres Chilenas en Ciencias award ceremony invited women to ‘take on’ the science

Concurso de Videos Mujeres Chilenas en Ciencias award ceremony invited women to ‘take on’ the science

The winning videos portrayed the scientific work by Chilean women in key areas for the country such as tsunami detection, climate-change impact, the discovery
of planets, and the evolution of native species. Both competitors and organizers agreed that promoting a more active role for women in science is still a challenge
for Chile.


In a ceremony held at the former National Congress in Santiago, the second instance of the “Chilean Women in Science National Video Contest” awarded winners and honorable mentions. The activity was organized by the Universidad de Chile’s Center for Mathematical Modeling (CMM), the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at Universidad de Santiago (Cedenna), the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the Inter American Network of Academies of Sciences (Ianas).

During the event, the organizers demanded more places for women in scientific, technology and engineering research. Not only because it is a fair demand for equality, but because it is necessary to address challenges Chile will face in the coming years. Chile cannot afford to lose talent, they agreed.

Great regional participation

The contest organizers valued the quantity, quality, and diversity of the videos submitted. Almost 300 adults and school students submitted 57 short films: 22 in the General Public Category and 35 in the School Student Category. Of the latter category, 55% of the videos came from schools in various regions of Chile.

Cedenna Scientist Carolina Aliaga said that this contest shows the work of women in science in Chile. In her opinion, however, it is necessary to increase these
efforts. In fact, just 45% of scientists are women in Latin America while this number falls to 33% in Chile.“We are few yet but we are important,” said
Aliaga. “This contest is an invitation to know and be motivated by the interesting issues Chilean women in science are researching.”

CMM director Alejandro Maass talked about the situation of women in his own research area, Mathematics: “During the 21st Century we have created an unbalanced scientific
and mathematical community; this loss of women in Math is, of course, unfair from a gender perspective but it is also unfair for the progress of Mathematics
itself and for scientific development.”

Dr Maass asked for more explicit efforts to promote gender equity in calls for applications to University positions and other situations, such as seen in developed countries.

For Chilean Academy of Sciences vice president and Ianas delegate Cecilia Hidalgo, the contest is framed in the country’s efforts to make opportunities for men and women in research more equal: “Any initiative that promotes the talent of women in science is spectacular for me because traditionally we have had a secondary role in science. The current role of women is recognized more and more each day and they are encouraged to pursue Scientific careers. This situation is not exclusive to Chile, but rather is global. We are moving towards understanding that women can be just as brilliant scientists as men. This movement can be slow and we would like to accelerate it, but it exists.”

Creative school students

The video “Mujeres por la Ciencia” was awarded first place in the School Student Category. The short film was directed by students at Colegio Santa María de La Ligua,
Valentina Maluenda, Sofía Macaya, and Catalina Morales. It told the story of astronomer Maritza Soto, who discovered a new planet with five times the
mass of Jupiter.

The second place in the category went to “Conociendo a la científica Grisel Cavieres” by Noemí Jiménez Jara and Romina Paredes, students at American British School in the La Florida commune.

Four videos were recognized with Honorable mentions:

• “De las aulas de mi liceo al mundo de la ciencia”, by Camila Álvarez and Sebastián Molina, from Liceo A-17 in Yungay municipality.
• “Draw the science”, by Stephanie Chamorro, Maite Saavedra, Camila Ávila and Katalina Araya, from Colegio American School in Peñaflor municipality.
• “María Inés Barría, científica chilena”, by Johana Vilches, Francisca Ponce, Anaís Saavedra and Tamara Acosta, from Héroes de Chile Primary School in Limache municipality.
• “Cómo conocí a una científica”, by Katrina Pérez from Colegio Saint Orleand N3, from Cerro Navia municipality.

“One of the reasons we organize this contest is to open the minds of students with regard to science. Science is a challenging and demanding path
but it is full of satisfaction and leaves a mark on the world,” said CMM researcher Patricio Felmer, who headed the Organizing Committee.

Enthusiastic General Public

“Contra viento y marea”, by Gonzalo Sabath y Mauricio Sáez, got the first place in the General Public category. The video told of physicist Ignacia Calisto, who
is developing a system of oceanic monitoring to understand the sea’s movements and a technology for forecasting tsunamis.

Second place went to “Alia”, by Felipe Oliva, Carolina Oliva y Alia Petermann-Pichincura. The short film highlights the work of this Valdivian scientist.

Honorable mentions went to four other videos:

• “Equilibrio”, by Laura Davanzo and Christofher López.
• “Estudiando el mundo con la luz”, by Paulina Fuentes and Enrique Garrido.
• “La ciencia de explorar”, by Gustavo Chiang.
• “Libertad en la ciencia”, by Carolina Gallegos.

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Posted on Mar 21, 2018 in Frontpage, News