Interview of the Month: Donne e Scienza (6/2015)

Every month, EPWS presents the characteristics and activities of one Member Association.

Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here


Our member for June is the Italian association Donne e Scienza.

For association Donne e Scienza, Lucia Martinelli, Senior researcher at MUSE-Science Museum of Trento and Giuliana Rubbia, Senior technologist at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia of Roma have accepted to answer the EPWS questionnaire.

Contact this association: Associazione Donne e Scienza, Casa internazionale delle donne, via della Lungara 19, 00165 Roma (Italia).
Contact these members: and
Association website:


If you wanted to describe your association in one sentence, what would you say?

L.M./G.R-R.: Donne e Scienza is a women scientists association receptive to fresh visions to foster a society of knowledge which is open, inclusive and democratic, and where women scientists are rightly recognized as an important actor.

EPWS: What are the objectives of your association?

L.M./G.R-R.: Donne e Scienza promotes women participation to scientific research, through activities directed to civil society to interface science and society, to facilitate the dialogue with institutions and to contribute to generate debate and awareness on contemporary science from a gender perspective. Relevant missions are: a networking activity to share various documents and information on regulation and policies regarding woman in science as well as projects and actions, with particular focus on European Community; the dissemination of the knowledge of women through research promotion and various initiatives, such as meetings, congresses and debates.

EPWS: What is the history of the association Donne e Scienza, in a few words?

L.M./G.R-R.: The association Donne e Scienza (ADS) was funded in December 2003 by a group of scientists and scholars from various disciplines who since the Eighties have been meeting regularly at the Documentation Centre for women in Bologna to analyze contemporary science. Some of us came from feminism, some others had different political backgrounds. All of us are convinced that increasing the participation of women in science will improve science and the whole society.

EPWS: Could you explain the organization of your association?

L.M./G.R-R.: At present, Donne e Scienza (ADS) counts about fifty active members and two hundreds sympathizers. It is a nonprofit cultural organization composed of mainly women scientists working in higher education Italian institutions and public research organizations, whose fields of expertise vary from physics and engineering to biology and chemistry, as well as to other disciplines and professions, like education, ICT and scientific journalism. The Board of Responsible is composed of 12 members, including the president, the vice-president, the treasurer and the secretary. Incomes derive from association fees, donations, and funds obtained from projects to which ADS participates. The network within ADS and with other subjects and organizations is maintained thanks to personal contacts, participation to various events and seminars, and to the annual general assembly, usually combined with a congress.
ADS communicates through a mailing list (, a web site ( and a Facebook Page ( with nearly 500 followers.

EPWS: What are its recent achievements?

L.M./G.R-R.: In its role as a hub of Italian and international networks of women in research, in order to facilitate the communication and the circulation of information, the association has been partner of various European Projects. Worth mentioning are: GenisLab (The Gender in Science and Technology LAB, 2011-2014 in which ADS is partner); SHEMERA (She Euromediterranean Research Area) and GENDER TIME (Transferring Implementing Monitoring Equality, 2013-2016) both including organizations of ADS active members. ADS has been the core organizer of the national congress “Science, Gender and Society: Where we stand? Gender perspectives in an evolving science (landscape)” (November 12-14, 2014, Trento Italy). Claudine Hermann was invited as speaker and EPWS representative. Beyond achievements at association level, at individual level ADS members are active in promoting debates and collecting the results of societal discussions, as happened: with the book “Portrait of a Lady. Women in Science: Participation Issues and Perspectives in a Globalized Research System” (2014), edited by S. Avveduto and L. Pisacane, and supported by European Science Foundation; with the book “La differenza insegna” on science teaching; with the blog on gender medicine edited by Letizia Gabaglio and Elisa Manacorda (

EPWS: What is your agenda for the coming months?

L.M./G.R-R.: Activities are usually planned during the meetings of the advisory board, twice per year. Moreover, ADS takes actions upon requests of its members and their network of contacts. The connection with EPWS remains a priority as well as the involvement in co-operations set up in the framework of the EU funded projects above mentioned. At present we are in the process of editing the book “Science, Gender and Society: at which point are we? Gender perspectives in a science which is evolving”, a collection of invited and selected papers of the above mentioned congress of Trento; we are especially happy about the trans-disciplinary approach of the book since hard sciences and humanities interact according to a progressive vision of science We are also planning seminars and initiatives on science and society through multidisciplinary approaches, and on strategies for overcoming obstacles to women careers either originating from structural organizations and personal reticence.

EPWS: Are you collaborating with other EPWS members?

L.M./G.R-R.: Donne e Scienza has been one of the associations which founded EPWS and is still co-operating in its role of member of the Board of Administration; Lucia Martinelli and Maria Laura Scarino are respectively the representative and her substitute.

EPWS: What do you expect from EPWS? In what ways can it help you develop your action?

L.M./G.R-R.: We hope that EPWS will endure and increase its role as crucial actor in the debate on gender equality in science in Europe. In particular we are interested in the lobbying action on policy makers, especially the European Commission, in order to support gender dimension of research with concrete actions, directives and funds. We find particularly helpful EPWS’s activities (important, at European level!) in providing/sharing information, in watching on women discrimination and in promoting punctual position documents, and in facilitating networking.



ADS at the headquarters of Casa internazionale delle donne, Roma, 2014

ADS yearly ‘Donne e Scienza’ congress and association meeting, Siena 2013


EWPS congress ‘New Perspectives for Women Scientists Careers in Europe’, Paris 2014


ADS yearly ‘Donne e Scienza’ congress and association meeting, Napoli 2009


ADS Yearly ‘Donne e Scienza’ congress and association meeting, Trento 2015


The European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS):

GenisLab EU Pf7th project:

SHEMERA EU Pf7th project:

GENDER TIME EU Pf7th project:

Ingenere, a website on economic, social and political issues in a gender perspective:

Science is a girl thing:

Galileo giornale di scienza:

Blog on gender medicine edited by Letizia Gabaglio and Elisa Manacorda:

Scienza in rete:


Read all the previous Interviews with our Members here


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