Femtec. GmbH Conference EuroWISTDOM

EuroWistdom - www.eurowistdom.eu
- Project description and background

Scientific and technological innovation lie at the heart of this country’s prosperity, and determine the whole way in which we live our lives. And yet despite their importance, they attract little interest among the public as a whole and young people in particular. In the media, science and technology are regarded more as a risk than an opportunity, and they feature hardly at all in popular television formats other than news programmes and documentaries.

Only 1.9% of the characters in TV films, drama series and soaps work in technical professions, and interest in technological education and careers is declining among youngsters and young adults. In a recent international ROSE (Relevance of Science Education) survey, young people in the industrialised nations said that science and technology were of little relevance or interest to them. This was particularly true of young women.

Objectives and implementation

The EU-sponsored EuroWistdom (European Women in Science TV Drama On Message) project seeks to build on the many years of experience gained from a British initiative set up by BBC Producers. It aims to find new ways of using science and technology as a source of inspiration for themes and characters in popular TV formats, and to develop positive role models for young women rather than the usual clichéd stereotypes.

The project provides financial and other support for European TV scriptwriters and producers seeking to make current science and technology issues a central focus of their work, and to view these from a female perspective. This is done by putting them in contact with scientists who have interesting stories to tell.

Although we hear about science in the news on a daily basis, it is often difficult to understand the stories behind the headlines. Science can seem very complex and inaccessible, so EuroWistdom provides direct access to scientists who can provide more information.

The opening conference, to be held in Berlin on 19 February, is a forum for discussion and interaction with charismatic scientists and young, ambitious engineering students (specific event website www.femtecconference.org). Further events will be held in Paris and Ljubljana in early March.

Financial support

Six grants of €7,000 are provided for the development of new ideas for TV series, serials and feature-length TV dramas covering current science and technology issues.

For details of these, visit www.femtec.org and/or www.europaws.org.