Emakumeak Zientzian 2021, more women in science

Published: February 8, 2021


  • More and more Basque organizations are joining forces to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science and to transmit a clear message: science is girls’ stuff.  
  • The Emakumeak Zientzian 2021 (Women in Science 2021) program scheduled to take place throughout February includes a huge variety of activities geared towards a wide range of audiences: families, teenagers, adults, etc.

Donostia-San Sebastian. 8 February, 2021. The research centers Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), CIC nanoGUNE, Materials Physics Center (CFM CSIC-UPV/EHU), CIC biomaGUNE, Biodonostia, Tecnun-School of Engineers, Ceit, POLYMAT, Elhuyar, the Faculty of Informatics of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Eureka! Zientzia Museoa (Science Museum) have come together to present a joint program to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science scheduled for 11 February across the world. From that day onwards and in Donostia-San Sebastian the program Emakumeak Zientzian 2021 will be run throughout the month of February with workshops, public talks, family experiments, virtual visits, etc. largely adapted to the virtual format due to the health emergency. The initiative aims to make the activity of women in science visible, to break down the typically masculine roles attributed to scientific and technical activities, and to encourage girls and teenagers to opt for careers in science. Emakumeak Zientzian 2021 is being supported by the Chartered Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, Fomento San Sebastián, the National Research Council (CSIC) and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).

The program will kick off on 8 February with the opening of the Elhuyar exhibition “Mujeres en Ciencia” (Women in Science) at the Eureka! Science Museum. Thursday 11 February will be celebrated with the special screening of Contagion (Steven Soderbergh, 2011) presented by Itziar Pérez, Director of Osakidetza Donostialdea, as part of the Film and Science Series being organized by the DIPC, the Filmoteca Vasca (Basque film Library) and the Festival of San Sebastian. With eerie realism, the film jumps ahead ten years and traces all the phases that our hyper-connected, globalized world can go through in a worldwide pandemic.

At 18:00 on Friday 12 February, the Eureka! Science Museum will be hosting the event Científicas de ayer y de hoy (Women Scientists Yesterday and Today). Five women scientists working at various centers in the Donostia-San Sebastian area will be going on stage at Eureka! to tell us about the research they are involved in and to pay tribute to some of the great female scientists in history through the story of their fascinating lives and scientific contributions. They are Fátima Villa (Tecnun) and Neri Oxmam, Ester Verde (CFM) & Carmen Mijangos, Naiara Aginako-Bengoa (Faculty of Informatics, UPV/EHU) & Hedy Lamarr, Ane Ruiz de Angulo (CIC biomaGUNE) & Gertrude Belle Elion, Elisa Jimenez (UPV/EHU, DIPC, Ikerbasque) & Rachel Carson. The talks are open to the general public (with limited seating) and can be followed via streaming. This year there will also be live music by the Donostia-born musician Ane Leux and the Dutch scientist Tineke van Der Berg.

Over the weekend 20-21 February it will be the families’ turn. In the activity Las estrellas de la ciencia (The Stars of Science) family experiments will be conducted at the Eureka! Science Museum and prepared by Elhuyar on the basis of 12 stories of women scientists as a brief tribute to these female scientists, the stars of science.

The program also includes online and face-to-face educational activities designed to bring the world of science closer to girls, boys and youngsters and to draw attention to the role of women scientists. On 17 February, the Biodonostia Health Research Institute will be running the workshop Aprende cómo se diagnostica la Covid (Learn how Covid-19 is diagnosed) so that secondary school students can get to know first-hand the main lab techniques for detecting Covid-19. Fourth-year secondary school students will be participating in the workshop Jugando a ser ingeniera (Playing at being an engineer) scheduled for 19 February at Tecnun and Ceit. This workshop aims to bring engineering closer to youngsters in a practical way and to get women interested in STEM careers. On 22 and 25 February the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Informatics is organizing Informática de cuento y de magia (Computing through Tales and Magic), an entertaining workshop geared towards primary school children in which they will be working on the concepts of binary code and algorithms through tales and magic tricks. On 25 February itself biomaGUNE is organizing a practical school workshop to encourage new science vocations.


The program also includes virtual visits to see inside the DIPC, CFM and CIC biomaGUNE research centers. In these visits it will be possible to see the everyday activities of research personnel. Researchers at the centers will be carrying out a range of activities and demonstrations designed to highlight the current role of women in science. This virtual meeting will likewise enable those registered for the visit to talk directly to the scientific personnel.

Finally, within the framework of Emakumeak Zientzian 2021, several teenagers have had the chance to be scientists for a day guided by researchers at CIC nanoGUNE and POLYMAT. With the help of all of them and under the name La ciencia sí es cosa de chicas (Science is girls stuff), we have prepared a series of attractive experiments linked to the world of nanoscience, nanotechnology and polymers. Along the same lines and for many years now we have been enhancing the role of adult women as transmitters of culture. In this spirit and under the title El poder de la experiencia (The Power of Experience) we are launching this series of short experiments that are easy to perform anywhere and designed to enable science culture to flow in families and in our milieus.


All the face-to-face activities will take place in line with the required health measures. It is necessary to register for some of the activities (both face-to-face and virtual ones) and the registrations can be made as from today via the Emakumeak Zientzian website: