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Women in Science

Dr Georgina Goss

My name is Georgina Goss. I have been a post doc in Professor Francesca Spagnoli’s lab since November 2021. Prior to that I was a PhD student in Professor Fiona Watt’s lab. I have therefore been very fortunate to have had two very impressive and accomplished female role models during my scientific career so far. However, when applying to either lab their gender was not something I focussed on, it was more the amazing scientific research they were championing and the wonderfully supportive and collaborative environments they both create in their research labs. 

As a female scientist I am fortunate that most of the time my gender is not something I focus on or have to think about in everyday scientific life as during my PhD and postdoc. During this time, I have not been subjected to gender-based discrimination / bias or bullying. However, I have had some experiences with it in the past. During my MSc rotation I was subjected to and witnessed a lot of gender-based discrimination and misogynist comments from an unpleasant male Professor whose eventual unfortunate reputation with women led to a male only lab. Additionally, I have had the misfortune of attending a scientific meeting abroad where all female PhD students were warned to not drink too much and avoid a specific male Professor who had a reputation of getting too close to female students. It saddens me that this behaviour is still prevalent in today’s scientific society though I know we are working together to try and irradicate it, changes still need to be made from the top. I was lucky enough to come out of my MSc experience with my self-esteem and confidence intact due to the wonderful support and mentorship of Professor Fiona Watt, though I know not every female in science is so lucky. 

Being a researcher in academia is challenging on so many levels regardless of your gender, as you can dedicate long hours and weekends to your work, giving everything, and still come out with very little to show for it. However, it can also be one of the most rewarding places to be as you get the chance to work on answering questions which no one knows the answer to, contributing to the scientific community and improving patients’ lives. The environment is also everything – the people you work with become your family who can turn even the worst day into the best day with constant laughter and a desperate trip to the pub. At the end of the day, despite all the ups and downs I still think of this as one of the best careers to be a part of. 



A Photography Collaboration

Professor Fiona Watt.webp

“If you want science to move forward, you have to share it”

EMBO Director Fiona Watt discusses preprints, data sharing

By Victoria Yan, EMBO
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