A video which has been made to encourage more girls to consider science as a career has been branded "offensive" and "sexist".

Science: It's A Girl Thing! is part of a marketing campaign launched by the European Commission in Brussels on Thursday and aimed at fostering female pupils' interest in science and technology.

The campaign's Twitter handle @ScienceForGirls, which is promoted on their web page has ceased to exist but the outrage is still pouring in on their Facebook page.

BLOG: Science: It's Not for Girls!


One angry scientist said she felt "insulted".

"Please rethink your awful, sexist campaign," wrote Mariana Delfino-Machin. "As a woman and a scientist, I feel insulted. And am sure my present and future students would too."

A recent article on the British Psychological Society's blog said "girlie" scientist role models could do more harm than good.

"The lack of women in science, maths and engineering (STEM) careers continues to raise concern. One cause is thought to be beliefs among schoolchildren that these subjects are somehow inherently 'masculine' and not for girls.

"The trouble is that girlie science role models can backfire, actually putting off girls who have little existing interest in science and maths subjects."

A study published in April by two professors at the University of Michigan found feminine role models do not motivate girls and attempts to glamorise STEM women created a negative perception, rather than encouraging girls to enter the male-dominated industries.

But not everyone agreed:


IAN ROBINSON
How anybody can find someting "offensive" in that is beyond me ??

The European Commission says the campaign aims to "challenge stereotypes on science and show young people, especially girls and young women, that science can be a great opportunity for their future".

A spokesperson for the EC told HuffPost:

"Women are very much underrepresented in this domain. The goal of the campaign is quite simply to get girls and women who probably would not have considered a career in science interested in considering it.

"We need to get the attention of girls who might otherwise not think about science, and then show them through real-life role models and with examples that science can be cool, is a great career option and can make a difference to all our lives.

"Following consultations and focus groups we felt we needed something that would make them take that step and come and look at the site and maybe attend one of the events when they come to their country."

What do you think?

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