On Monday 15 January the Academy’s communications team took a group of 11 media-trained women Fellows and grant awardees for a showcase at the BBC. This event is part of our on-going programme of work to increase the number of women experts featured in news and current affairs programmes. Currently women are outnumbered 3:1 by men on news and current affairs programmes – a figure which only recently went down from 4:1.
The researchers met with over 20 journalists, reporters and producers, who came from programmes including Radio4’s Today programme, Woman’s Hour, The World at One, Newsnight, PM, Operation Ouch, Horizon and Trust me I’m a Dr. The scientists inspired the journalists by giving them a brief overview of their key areas of investigation and then chatted about potential future media work and the truth behind working with the media. This was a pilot activity for the Academy, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
After the event, the researchers reported how valuable meeting and speaking to journalists in a relaxed and informal setting was. All of them have said the experience will push them to do more media work in the future, something we have already seen in action. Shortly after the showcase Professor Susan Wray FMedSci went on the Today programme, Victoria Derbyshire show and World Service, and Professor Deborah Ashby FMedSci has been interviewed on BBC Newsnight.
The Academy will continue training and supporting women researchers to undertake their first media work. We also hope to set up more showcase events, hopefully around the country and at different production and broadcasting companies.
Find out more about our media training for women