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Sergey Tokarev: STEM is FEM to tell through art about the contribution of Ukrainian women to world science



In Ukraine, there has started a large-scale art project SHE is SCIENCE aimed to spread information about the contribution of female scientists



25.Feb.21 9:05 AM
By Abigail Richards
Photo Sergey Tokarev

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Sergey Tokarev: STEM is FEM to tell through art about the contribution of Ukrainian women to world science
In Ukraine, there has started a large-scale art project SHE is SCIENCE aimed to spread information about the contribution of Ukrainian female scientists to the development of local and world science. As part of the campaign, the curators of the charitable educational project STEM is FEM are planning to hold an educational art exhibition and an all-Ukrainian writing competition. Sergey Tokarev, the  STEM is FEM initiator and Reface investor, tells us in detail about the goals of the campaign.

It is plain to see gender inequality in the scientific world. There is barely any Ukrainian who do not know the names of such outstanding scientists as Borys Paton, Sergei Korolev, Igor Sikorsky, Vladimir Vernadsky, and many others. At the same time, few people will be able to name at least one outstanding female scientist of Ukraine, even though they have played a significant role in the development of modern science.

For instance, the studies of non-metallic crystals by physicist Antonina Prykhotko have changed the general understanding of solid-state physics in the world scientific community; biologist Svitlana Arbuzova has developed a strategy for genetic screening to detect the risk of hereditary diseases. Her method was recognized as the most effective one and it was implemented worldwide. The art project SHE is SCIENCE is meant to fill the knowledge gap and tell people about these two and many other female scientists.



‘The problem of society's lack of awareness about the contribution of women to the development of science is not exclusively Ukrainian, it is global. We are glad that our friends and permanent partners—the international organizations UN Women and UNICEF—have also joined us in this campaign,’ says Sergey Tokarev.

There are several major events planned as part of the art project. The first one will be the SHE is SCIENCE: Pre-Premiere Exhibition on March 5 in the UNIT.Verse conference hall in Kyiv. The exposition consists of 12 portraits of prominent Ukrainian female scientists created by modern illustrators headed by Sergiy Maidukov. The exhibition will be accompanied by lectures on the scientific achievements of each of the heroines. Apart from that, at the event, there will be a lot of interactive activities: panel discussions on gender and scientific topics and live communication with the portrait illustrators.

‘In the age of visual communication, in the era of Instagram, an art exhibition is the best way to attract young people to the world of science,’ says Sergey Tokarev. ‘Apart from that, as we have invited the portrait heroines to the exhibition, an opportunity to meet them personally should motivate young visitors to scientific accomplishments.’

In addition to the exhibition, the organizers are planning to hold a number of other events to let as many people as possible know more about Ukrainian female scientists. Among them, there is a competition for the best essay about a female scientist. Girls aged 14-21 are offered to choose one of the 12 heroines of the art exhibition and write an essay about her activities, achievements, and inventions, as well as write about how all they affected the development of science and whether they can be interesting today.

‘One thing is to hear, see or read about a person. While writing an essay using the collected information, the author will immerse herself completely in the world of the chosen heroine, and this way, to some extent, she will try on the image of a scientist. I believe that participation in this competition will really help girls find themselves in science,’ says Sergey Tokarev.

You can learn more about the competition and take part in it on the official website of the STEM is FEM project.



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