It was wonderful to talk to the Brazilian Mentees and Professors who had been working on the project and to see at first hand the challenges but also the progress that had been made. The visit was a great opportunity to share best practice and work together for a common goal.Professor Abigail Tucker
10 October 2022
Professor Abigail Tucker visits Brazil to promote Women in Science project
Dean for Research trip was part of 'Women in Science' collaboration with colleagues in PUCRS & UFRGS universities in Porto Alegre
In late August, FoDOCS Dean for Research Professor Abigail Tucker was welcomed by colleagues from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) as she visited the universities in Porto Alegre in her role as coordinator for the project Women in Science.
The project, a British Council funded initiative, brings together researchers from King's College London, PUCRS and UFRGS to encourage women and girls to pursue a career in science.
During her visit with PUCRS, Professor Tucker learned more about the facilities of the Brain Institute of Rio Grande do Sul and its research lines. She met with the mentors of the project at Living 360º, where participants had the chance to hear a little more about her own journey as a researcher and scientist, and discuss the challenges of a scientific career.
Professor Tucker talked to a public audience about her career at King’s College London, the challenges of motherhood during her scientific career and the important support she received from peers and managers. She also presented best practice and data around gender equity and equality.
At UFRGS, Professor Tucker met with Dean Carlos André Bulhões Mendes, Dean of Research at UFRGS José Antônio Poli de Figueiredo and Juliane Minotto from the research office. Together they discussed the importance of sponsorship and that the continuation of the project would also need Government support.
As part of her visit, Professor Tucker also held a discussion with the mentors of Women in Science at UFRGS. Finally, she attended a screening of the film 'Marie Curie' and took part in a panel event following the film.
Despite some progress over the last decade, women are still underrepresented in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The Women in Science project is a British Council program seeking to strengthen connections with women in science in Brazil and the UK at the individual and institutional levels to transform patterns of influence and strengthen leadership and gender schemes in the exact sciences. Among its initiatives are mentoring activities, events and development opportunities.
In October, following her visit to Brazil, Professor Tucker and King’s College London will welcome a return trip for colleagues from UFRGS and PUCRS to learn more about the university and its ongoing drive towards increasing female STEM researchers and scientists.
To find out more about Women in Science, please click here.