Female scientist with glass jar in laboratory.

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International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP), University of Birmingham, 01 August 2017

Delegates from nearly 50 countries round the world gathered at the University of Birmingham for the triennial International Conference on Women in Physics (ICWIP), sponsored by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), the IOP and many research funders including EPSRC and STFC. The aim of the conference was to foster and encourage the participation of women in physics and look at global strategies for increasing their representation. Each country presented a poster highlighting progress being made and initiatives within that country. The conference also heard from some of the world’s leading women physicists including Professor Gabriela Gonzalez, Professor Teresa Lago and UK's Professor Athene Donald. Athene gave a fascinating insight into her research career and then her "second" career as a trailblazer for gender diversity in physics. The conference was also delighted to welcome Malala Yousafazi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and educational activist, who talked about the importance of girls’ education across the globe. One of the highlights of the conference was the presentation of the IOP President's Medal to Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell at a special ceremony, to recognise Jocelyn's ground-breaking research and her distinguished ambassadorial role for physics – particularly for widening participation. Following the medal presentation, she gave an inspirational talk reflecting on being a woman in physics in the UK over the past 50 years, on making a significant astrophysical discovery and on combining professional and family life.