Women in STEMM who Changed the World

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What’s it all about?

Their names are virtually unknown, and yet their discoveries changed the face of science forever.

If you were asked to name 10 famous scientists, engineers, mathematicians and doctors how many women would be on that list? In recognition of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting the contribution of women in STEMM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) who may be relatively unknown but have made amazing contributions to the world. These women faced, and overcame incredible barriers and yet their contributions are often overlooked or attributed to their better-known male colleagues.

Whilst progress is being made to address the gender imbalance in STEMM fields, less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women and only 9% of professors in mathematical sciences in Australia are women. Women currently face issues regarding pay inequality, unconscious bias, achieving recognition and positions of leadership. Many women, and their male colleagues, are passionate about changing the STEMM environment in Australia and globally.

What will we cover?

Hear from the next generation of STEMM researchers and innovators in Melbourne speak who about women who have inspired them in their careers and their incredible contributions.

There will also be a panel discussion where the speakers will discuss their careers, the current environment of STEMM in Australia and take questions from the audience.

Who will be teaching?

Celeste DonatoDr Celeste Donato always had a particular fascination with weird and disgusting diseases which led her to completed undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science and a PhD in Virology. After completing her first postdoc in Singapore where she researched emerging viruses in Southeast Asia, Celeste returned to Melbourne, where her current research focuses on the evolution of viruses that pose a significant threat to human health. Celeste has a passion for science communication and education, in particular encouraging young women to pursue careers in science.

Jessica BorgerDr Jessica Borger is a senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Immunology and Pathology at Monash University. During her PhD in London and postdoc in Edinburgh Jessica investigated how various signalling pathways within T cells determine their development, function and fate. Jessica is passionate about increasing public awareness and involvement in healthcare, science and education and is currently a member of the International Day of Immunology Committee, Melbourne and will be speaking at the Pint of Science in 2018.

Innes BigaranInnes Bigaran completed a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Physics and Pure mathematics, a Masters in Science in Theoretical Particle Physics and is currently a PhD candidate. Innes works in The University of Melbourne Physics department teaching undergraduate students, whilst also conducting research into the underlying symmetries of our universe.  Innes regularly organizes events to inspire young people to study Physics, and particularly encouraging young women to not give up on science and mathematics – there is no such thing as a ‘boy’ subject!

Mahtab Mirmomeni Mahtab Mirmomeni is a software engineer and project manager at IBM Research Australia with over 10 years of experience in software solutions. She is currently leading projects in the intersection of machine learning, IoT and healthcare. Mahtab holds a Master of Computer Science degree from The University of Melbourne and is working towards her PhD. She is the founder of the Women in Tech society at the University of Melbourne, winner of the 2017 Women Tech makers scholarship, finalist for the 2016 ARN Women in ICT awards and the 2012 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship for her contributions to the female ICT community.

Rachael LivermoreDr. Rachael Livermore got her PhD in Astrophysics from Durham University in England and worked at the University of Texas at Austin before moving to the University of Melbourne in 2017. Her research focuses on the early Universe and the formation of the first galaxies, using observations from the Hubble Space Telescope. She is also the co-founder of Astronomy on Tap ATX, a public outreach event series, and has given dozens of public talks at outreach events and science fiction conventions worldwide.