Palmiers. Women of Science: Pyrenees High School sheds light on them

Two SVT teachers from the Lycée Pyrène and their students worked on women in science. A project aimed at dividing the world of research.

Gathered in a classroom on the third floor of the Lycée Pyrène, first graders savor the moment. Since September, at the initiative of two SVT (Life and Earth Sciences) teachers Alice Jolly and Laurie Pouchard, these young high school girls have carried out a lengthy research project on women scientists. A priori, nothing could be simpler than this, except that… a single question is enough to cause a problem: cite the names of several famous women scientists. Only one surname unintentionally pops out of the hat: Marie Curie. Also, you have to rack your brain. Is this why women are absent from scientific fields? So the Nobel Prizes would be reserved exclusively for men. “Last year, I read an article in a magazine on these unrecognized women,” explains Alice Jolly. It didn’t take much time for the SVT teacher to propose and build a real educational project… not without the reluctance of some of her male colleagues. Along with their roadmap, high school girls and teachers went fishing, just to show that women from scientific fields are not, and far, far away.

On Wednesday morning, the restoration of the project thrilled researcher Julie Batut of the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) in Toulouse. The joy was also shared by Dr. Amandine Mayima in Robotics.

And when we mention the name of Emmanuel Charpentier, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 20 20 for her work on the molecular mechanisms of the bacterial immune system, Julie Batut brightens. “I was inspired to see Emmanuel’s name on one of these plaques and to recall that a scientist trained in France left his research in Germany due to lack of support”.

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work on zebrafish

For her part, Julie Batut works on the zebrafish’s olfactory system. Why this instead of goldfish? “Just because the zebrafish embryo is transparent and therefore can be studied more easily under the microscope,” she explains. And how neurons migrate and specialize in the olfactory system of the future. That said, it’s obvious!

Amandine Mayima practices in a completely different register. Researcher develops algorithms that allow robots to make decisions in the context of collaborative tasks with humans. On the way to the world of tomorrow. And for those who fear science or because we will unknowingly put ourselves in a state of failure, Julie Butt concludes: “Sciences aren’t complicated, it’s that we explain you badly”.

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