Emakumeak Zientzian, give, reach out (eman, hartu eskua)

  • The 7th edition of Emakumeak Zientzian kicks off in a festive atmosphere and with its own hymn.
  •  Twenty-four Basque organizations are jointly running an extensive program of over 50 activities covering a whole range of research fields.

About 200 people came to the Intxaurrondo Kultur Etxea (arts center) this afternoon for the start of the 7th edition of the Emakumeak Zientzian initiative in a festive atmosphere to pay tribute to all the women scientists working in the organizations and research centers that have joined the Emakumeak Zientzian initiative, which is designed to draw attention to the fact that “science is girls’ stuff”. In addition, the anthem specially written for the initiative was presented live by its composer and supporter of the cause Janus Lester.

Jon Insausti, Councillor responsible for Culture and Basque (Donostia Kultura), welcomed the attendees to the event led by the Emakumeak Zientzian coordination team. The organizers stressed the aim of this edition, which is to highlight the importance of co-responsibility between men and women to make science and technology more equal for everyone.

Three Emakumeak Zientzian researchers –Ana Beloqui (POLYMAT), Marta Pascual (BC3) and Marina Kalashnikova (BCBL)– took to the stage to share their professional experiences and were accompanied by the Basque extempore versemaker Alaia Martin-Etxebeste who shared their testimonies in verses. “It is essential to continue doing science in order to continue being a reference and so that no one feels invisible”, stresses Alaia Martin. She also encourages the three women to “continue to demonstrate scientifically that science and technology is a place for women”. They all agreed that projects such as Emakumeak Zientzian “are essential to make women scientists visible in all areas of science and technology, in biohealth careers as well as in engineering, mathematics or physics careers”.

This was followed by a brief discussion with Jon Gurrutxaga, Director of Innovation and Internationalization of the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa; Izaskun Artetxe, Economic and Technical Secretary of the Department of Economic Promotion of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia; and Ainhoa Aldasoro, Head of Innovation and Competitiveness at Donostia Sustapena – Fomento San Sebastián. It was moderated by a member of the Emakumeak Zientzian coordination team.

Jon Gurrutxaga stressed that “science and research play a fundamental role in building our future as a society and in strengthening our welfare and competitiveness, and we cannot afford to forgo the talent of women”. “There are no magic recipes to reverse this situation of imbalance in the field of science and technology, but it is essential to make visible and value the careers of women dedicated to science and R&D, break gender stereotypes, strengthen STEAM studies among young women, adopt measures of co-responsible conciliation…”, added Gurrutxaga.

Izaskun Artetxe, for her part, pointed out that “the Provincial Council of Bizkaia has set itself the objective of promoting equality between women and men as a guarantee of a fair, balanced, efficient and happy society for everyone”. She also stressed that “in the last ten years the situation has not improved and the scissors effect is maintained when advancing in the research career, male and female researchers do not advance in the same way”.

Ainhoa Aldasoro highlighted the fact that “Donostia-San Sebastián is recognized as being a city that is firmly committed to science and innovation, and the challenge of equality has to be included in this commitment. Our commitment at Fomento de San Sebastián is firm and we are working on specific programs and services to make women visible and incorporate them into the scientific field and to generate new STEAM vocations among the youngest women”.

Finally, the long-awaited moment arrived: the presentation of the anthem specially composed for the initiative. An anthem composed by the artist and supporter of the cause Janus Lester to provide the initiative with a lively rhythm, and also to reach out to new supporters so that responsibilities can be shared. “Eman, hartu eskua; egin, utzi lekua…” [Give, reach out; make room]. The hymn “Ertzak” is already available on the main music platforms, as well as on Emakumeak Zientzian‘s YouTube channel.

The Emakumeak Zientzian 2023 program will be focusing on the week from 8 to 17 February. 24 Basque organizations have designed a wide-ranging program of over 50 activities and surprises covering all kinds of fields of research, and this has been made possible by different centers coming together, so that the message that ‘science is girls’ stuff’ reaches as many people as possible and sinks in. In this new edition, the geographical scope has also been extended thanks to the participation of organizations from Bizkaia, so that the program is spread across Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, mainly in the capital cities.

So the organizers would like to make “a special appeal and invite everyone, regardless of gender, identity, origin, profession or age to participate in the activities”.

The full program of activities is available at www.emakumeakzientzian.eus

The 24 organizations in the 7th edition of Emakumeak Zientzian are a significant representative sample of the Basque Country’s science and technology base: the Center for Materials Physics (CFM CSIC-UPV/EHU), Achúcarro, CIC biomaGUNE, CIC nanoGUNE, University of Deusto, POLYMAT, Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM), Basque Center on Cognition, Brain and Language (BCBL), Biodonostia, Ceit, Cidetec, Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), Elhuyar, Eureka! Zientzia Museoa, Bizkaia Foundation for Biophysics (FBB), Ikerlan, Ingeniariak –  Official Association of Industrial Engineers of Gipuzkoa, Technology Parks of the Basque Country, Tecnalia, Tecnun-Faculty of Engineering, the Faculties of Informatics, Engineering – Gipuzkoa, and Chemistry of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

Emakumeak Zientzian 2023 has the substantial support of the Charter Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and Fomento San Sebastián, and the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA) as well as the collaboration of the following bodies and organizations: the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT), the Spanish Research Agency through the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu centers as partners in the initiative, the Basque Film Library and the Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival, and Aspegi (Association of Professional, Business and Managerial Women of Gipuzkoa), Aranzadi, the Lemniskata network, Ikerbasque, Biook and Donostia Kultura.