It Takes A Makeup Company To Tell Us Science Needs Women

Should I be disturbed that the most compelling, diverse, women in science outreach video I've seen was produced by a makeup company?

Top image: Dr. Segenet Kelemu researches microorganisms and forage grasses to understand how best to improve the grasses' adaptability to environmental change and disease resistance. Credit: Julian Dufort

What I'm appreciating about this video is that it includes women from diverse cultures and countries, at different career stages in different fields of research. It's targeted at other women, an attempt to reach out and mentor at a distance, reassuring that yes, it really can just suck sometimes, but that you aren't alone.

Professor Brigitte Kieffer researches the neuroscience of pain, mental illness, and drug addiction, examining at the mechanisms to find better treatments. Image credit: Julian Dufort

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This is part of the Science Needs Women campaign produced by a partnership between makeup company L'Oréal and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for the. They also sponsor a series of awards recognizing women in science.

Professor Kayo Inaba researches immune system response to threats, looking at cellular therapy for cancer treatments. Image credit: Julian Dufort

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Their objective is raise greater awareness for the exceptional things done by these women in science, provide support for early-career scientists around the world, and create networking opportunities.

Professor Laurie Glimcher researches immune response in allergies and autoimmune, infectious, and malignant diseases. Image credit: Julian Dufort

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So many outreach campaigns focus on just one aspect of diversity, so that when talking about women in science, they're somehow all women who look distressingly similar. But by selecting honourees from five different global regions — Africa and the Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America — the awards automatically include women from diverse cultural backgrounds. From their predictably-glamorous photo shoots, we get images of scientists from around the world.

Professor Cecilia Bouzat researches brain cell communication between themselves and muscles, using her work to inform neurotransmitter pharmacology to treat major neurological disorders. Image credit: Julian Dufort

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Check out Discov/Her to read more highlights of truly amazing women doing incredible things.

Tip via BrainScoop. The women whose photographs are featured in this article are the five honourees for 2014.