From November 9th to November 12th, 2017, the Hizkuntzalaritza Teorikorako Taldea (HiTT) participated in the Science Week (Zientzia Astea) with a stand in the Bibat museum in Vitoria-Gasteiz. This year, the title of the stand was “Hizkuntzaren Zientzia” (The science of language), and it gathered citizens who listened to our presentation and/or played games about polysemy, articulation of sounds and the world’s languages. I think we did a good job at spreading the word about what linguists do and entertain at the same time. Thanks go to Laura, Marina, Lucía, Bryan, Aitor and Haizea!
Aside from the stand in Vitoria-Gasteiz, this year we also participated in the Zientzia Astea in Barakaldo with a workshop-talk entitled “Guk hitz egiten dugu. Baina, hitz egiten ote dute haiek? Giza-hizkuntzaren ezaguera” (We speak. But do they also speak? The human language). Myriam gave a very nice talk for 13-year olds at the Centro Clara Campoamor, who learned that some animals have very sophisticated communication methods, but cannot generate sentences that they have never heard before.
This year, Elena has collaborated again with Ikerbasque in attempting to convince young women that they can be scientists if they are willing to. Amanda Sierra, Matxus Perugorria, Ainara Castellanos and Elena Castroviejo explained their own experiences as women researchers to high school girls from Bilbao, who had the chance to express her doubts about the future and about the life we leave as scientist women.
As in last year’s event, Amaia Esquisabel (representing the Basque Government) opened the floor with her own life experience and the high-schoolers participated in a competition to determine how much we know about women scientists. In the meantime, Marimar Muriel painted two pieces, which were then donated to the two high schools, so the girls could tell the boys about this activity at the headquarters of Ikerbasque.
You can find here the article that has appeared in Deia (Basque newspaper), on May 4th, 2017, which reports on the event and on the data regarding the so-called glass ceiling.
The Hizkuntzalaritza Teorikoko Taldea (HiTT) ‘Basque Research Group of Theoretical Linguistics’ was present at the Zientzia Astea (‘Science Week’) in Vitoria-Gasteiz on November 3-6 2016. Maia Duguine, Lucía Masa, Marina Ortega and Laura Vela-Plo put together a stand that welcomed high school students and other interested citizens that wanted to know what it meant to be a linguist and how linguists study human language. Elena had the pleasure to participate in this outreach event as a HiTT member, and talk to several students and teachers. We also had the chance to spread the word about GrOC-Euskadi, an initiative that builds on GrOC in Barcelona and that the HiTT is starting soon, with the purpose of bridging the gap between linguistic research and grammar teaching in high schools.
On May 9th, 2016, Elena took part in an outreach event organized by Ikerbasque to reveal to what extent women scientists have been concealed in the history programs that we have studied, and to promote awareness of the options young high school students may have as women scientists in the future. Three other Ikerbasque scientists participated in this event: Iratxe Zarraonaindia (genetics, UPV/EHU), Amanda Sierra (neurobiology, Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience), and Matxus Perugorria (liver diseases, Biodonostia). They told the audience about their experience carrying out research using an object as a symbol of their career. In the meantime, painter Marimar Muriel sketched her picto-conclusions.
The Basque newspaper El Correo published this article about the event. Here is another follow-up piece, where Amanda Sierra provides statistical data on the situation of women in science.