Emmanuelle Passegue, PhD is featured in “STEM passion- A Journey Inspired by Women in Science”

Emmanuelle Passegue, PhD is featured in Elisabetta Citterio’s project “STEM passion- A journey Inspired by Women in Science”

See Full Project Here

Elisabetta is a molecular biologist by training, passionate about contributing to advances in biomedical sciences. She holds a M.Sc. in Biology (University of Milan) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. As a scientist, she studies molecular mechanisms of DNA damage repair and hematopoietic stem cell biology, to better understand and treat human diseases cancer in particular.

She is currently linking her passion for science with the one for photography. By turning her lens on scientists, women in particular, she wishes to increase the visibility of scientists, highlighting the many ways to be a scientist and bringing diversity in the public perception of scientists.

This project is an opportunity to put scientists into the spotlight. Among the great scientists that I know, many are women. This inspired me to start to portrait and interview leading female scientists in the field of the Life Sciences, working in some of the most prestigious Universities and international Research Institutions. Unique as they are, as their paths are different, I am fascinated by how women collectively contribute to science and to a better future. Each of them can be an example which others, especially the youth, can relate to and be inspired by.

Numbers. Women are a vital driving force of scientific progress and an immense resource in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In addition, they are strongly present as students and researchers (with more than 50% PhD holders) in the Life Sciences. Yet, only 15-20% reaches professorship and high-level decision-making positions), a disproportion that appears to be worse in other STEM fields (UNESCO Women in Science data 2019; EU She Figures 2018). These numbers are raising the awareness of universities and research institutions, stimulating projects aimed at increasing representation and participation of women in STEM and in leadership positions. However, more should be done to increase the attention of a non-scientist public.

Inspired also by the idea that there are no formulas for being a scientist, this project wishes to make the stories and achievements of women in STEM more visible to the general public, with the intent of increasing the attention to women’s scientific excellence and leadership in science and continuing to inspire diversity in the public image of scientists. "You can't be what you can't see" Marian Wright Edelman.

Driven by curiosity and passion, every day is a challenge in the life of a scientist and is rarely ever the same from day to day. I wish this project to be an encouragement for young women and men to undertake a scientific career and even more for women to become leaders in science.

I am collecting the portraits into a book. Thank you scientists for your passion, example, and all the tireless work you put into research for a better world for all of us and the new generations. A warm thank you for cooperating with this project.

The first exhibit was planned in March 2020 at the University of Milano-Bicocca with the kind support of ARCH-project and University of Milano-Bicocca. It is postponed to a date yet to be determined. The exhibit is inserted in the cultural agenda 2020 of Comune di Milano - I talenti delle donne.