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IIDR Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is on March 8 and we’re dedicating the entire month of March to celebrating the many talented, passionate and inspiring members and trainees at the IIDR who are promoting gender equality in science.

Look out for our Q&A spotlights on women at the IIDR throughout the month and learn about their research, achievements, advice for women in science and what they’re doing to #BeBoldForChange in 2017.

To kick things off, IIDR Director, Dr. Gerry Wright shares his #BeBoldForChange declaration of support:

“Solving the considerable challenges of the 21st century requires evidence, especially in these fractious times when facts themselves (and not their interpretation) are under siege from celebrities on the internet to the highest levels of governments. Addressing these challenges requires the input of scientists from all backgrounds across the globe, and in particular, from both women and men.

Science has had (and has!) a great many remarkable female leaders. I encourage you to read Rachel Ignotosfky’s great new book “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” to find out more about them. It’s a sad reality though that men have dominated science for too long. While this is changing, it must change more quickly in the 21st Century.

The assault on science is an “all hands on deck” moment for thoughtful people across the globe. We must have diverse voices to send the message that the world around us is understandable, and that seeking the truth is the goal of science. The corrosive questioning of the validity of evidence, from the safety and efficacy of vaccines, to GMOS, climate change and other areas where click-bait and misinformation is spread instantly by social media, must be challenged.

To achieve these goals, we need ensure that women in science have every advantage that men do, that they are accurately represented in the rosters of our meetings and conferences, in the prizes we hand out to celebrate achievements, and in positions of leadership. We need to encourage young women to enter careers in science and identify and mitigate the causes of the drop out of women scientists at all stages of their careers.

At the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research, we are striving to contribute to supporting and advancing women as trainees in our research groups, and as our leaders. I am committed to promoting this positive agenda of equity. We must work together on International Women’s Day and every day to foster a climate of critical thinking to support truth and equality.”