Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Eleanor Stride (Department of Engineering Science and the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Science) has taken an unconventional path to becoming one of Britain’s leading scientists. In a new Oxford Science Blog, she tells Sarah Whitebloom how she moved from dance to design and onto biomedical science, but being a 'woman in science' is not one of the identities she seeks.

Professor Eleanor Stride © New York Academy of Sciences/ Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists

When is a woman in science not a ‘woman in science’? When she is a woman in science.

At the risk of generalisation, women in science are hard-working, dedicated, cutting edge…scientists.  Call them ‘women in science’ at your peril.  Women in science will tell you quite firmly that they do not want to be treated differently or feel they do not deserve their place. Any hint of tokenism will be greeted with a frosty response. 

And Professor Eleanor Stride is an uber scientist, which is nothing to do with mini-cabs but everything to do with dedication, hard-work and world-changing ideas.  It is hard to imagine that she has ever felt she is making up the numbers.

‘You’d be surprised,’ she says. Sometimes, it is felt that there has to be a woman involved and no one wants to be that woman.  Professor Stride maintains there is, of course, a need for more women in science and is infuriated at the idea that girls are still told that Maths and science is not for them. She is, quite literally, furious at the ‘Mummy wasn’t any good at Maths’, sort of parental advice. And, she says, the counter-balance needs to start early, at Primary School, when girls start to drift away from the sciences and Maths.

Read the full blog on the University of Oxford website

Similar stories

Communication at the crossroads of the immune system

In his inaugural article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as an NAS member (elected 2021), Prof Mike Dustin and his research team in Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences have explained how messages are passed across the immunological synapse. The research could have implications for future vaccine development and immunotherapy treatments.

Showcase success for Science Together research

A local collaboration teaming researchers from the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University with the Urban Music Foundation finished on a high note with an immersive sound and art installation at Oxford’s Old Fire Station.

Oxford spinout trials revolutionary bioelectronic implant to treat incontinence

The first participants in a clinical trial of a bioelectrical therapy to treat incontinence have received their “smart” bioelectronic implants.

COVID-19 is a leading cause of death in children and young people in the US

A new study led by researchers at the University of Oxford’s Department of Computer Science has found that, between 2021 and 2022, COVID-19 was a leading cause of death in children and young people in the United States, ranking eighth overall. The results demonstrate that pharmaceutical and public health interventions should continue to be applied to limit the spread of the coronavirus and protect again severe disease in this age group.

Three or more concussions linked with worse brain function in later life

Experiencing three or more concussions is linked with worsened brain function in later life, according to new research.

New blood test could save lives of heart attack victims

Researchers in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG) have developed a blood test that measures stress hormone levels after heart attacks. The test – costing just £10 – could ensure patients receive timely life-saving treatment.