Search on for rising science stars

Anationwide search has begun for Australia’s next constellation of Superstars of STEM – a game-changing initiative to advance gender equity by turning more diverse science experts into media stars.

Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic last week launched the national talent search for the program, run by Science & Technology Australia and funded by the Federal Government.

“Australia needs to draw on the full diversity of our talent pool to deliver the next huge science and technology breakthroughs and galvanise STEM gender equity to strengthen our skilled workforce,” Minister Husic said.

“Visible diverse role models in the media and in our schools send a powerful message to the next generations of diverse young Australians there is a place for them in STEM.”

Open to women and non-binary STEM professionals, the program has created 150 Superstars of STEM since 2017.

Another 60 more Superstars will be chosen this round.

Science & Technology Australia chief executive Misha Schubert said the program tangibly helped diverse young Australians to see themselves in science and technology careers.

“It’s really hard to be what you cannot see,” she said.

“Women are around half the Australian population – and yet are seriously under-represented in STEM careers and leadership, and, at last count, only one in three experts talking about science in the media were women.

“To fix the visibility challenges, we need to create even more diverse role models who are household names appearing regularly in the media as science experts and authorities.

“The program is transforming and challenging ideas about what a scientist looks like, turbo-charging gender equity in science, and giving more young Australians inspiring role models to encourage them into STEM studies and careers.”

The next 60 Superstars of STEM will participate in the program for two years, starting in January 2023.

Applications are open now and close on August 14.

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