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

Language learning difficulties in children linked to brain differences

A new study using MRI has revealed structural brain changes in children with developmental language disorder (DLD), a common but under-recognised difficulty in language learning. Children with DLD aged 10-15 showed reduced levels of myelin in areas of the brain associated with speaking and listening to others, and areas involved in learning new skills. This finding is a significant advance in our understanding of DLD and these brain differences may explain the poorer language outcomes in this group.

The Gene Therapists Headline at Glastonbury 2022

Rosie Munday writes about her experience taking science to the masses at the Glastonbury Festival.

New research reveals relationship between particular brain circuits and different aspects of mental wellbeing

Researchers at the University of Oxford have uncovered previously unknown details about how changes in the brain contribute to changes in wellbeing.

Night-time blood pressure assessment is found to be important in diagnosing hypertension

Around 15% of people aged 40-75 may have a form of undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension) that occurs only at night-time. Because they do not know about this, and therefore are not being treated for it, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as stroke, heart failure, and even death, suggests new research from the University of Oxford published in the British Journal of General Practice.

Major new NIHR Global Health Research Unit to focus on data science and genomic surveillance of antimicrobial resistance

The Centre for Genomic Pathogen Surveillance, part of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford, has been awarded funding worth £7m for their work as an NIHR Global Health Research Unit (GHRU) for the next five years. The Centre’s research and capacity building work focuses on delivering genomics and enabling data for the surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).