In the middle of National Science Week, I had the pleasure of attending The League of Remarkable Women in Science exhibition at the CSIRO Discovery Centre.

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This exhibition was organised by Dr. Anne-Sophie Dielen and Britta Foster, with the support of the ANU Gender Institute and Inspiring Australia. It started life as Tumblr blog, interviewing 40 female scientists working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) about what it means to be a women in science in 2015, what challenges they have faced as well as rewards of working in science. They also shared their visions of what could make a difference for gender balance in research.

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The scientists featured in the blog and exhibition have achieved successful careers no matter which hurdles they found on their way. They have all taken different routes, but all have remained true to themselves and are extraordinarily inspiring examples for the next generation of female scientists.

Objects from the National Museum of Australia were also displayed, linking women in science from the past to the present.

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A public discussion forum was also held at CSIRO Discovery. A panel of scientists, both men and women, discussed their own experience as well as the initiatives that could lead to better diversity and gender balance in research. The forum was chaired by Prof. Brian Schmidt and the Hon. Karen Andrews MP.

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Dr Sophie Lewis, ANU; Dr Britta Foster, ANU; The Hon Karen Andrews, Prof. Elanor Huntington, ANU; Dr Anne-Sophie Dielen, ANU; Prof. John Evans, ANU; Dr Megan Heming, Dr Craig Wood, CSIRO; Prof. Brian Schmidt, ANU

I left feeling very inspired by amazing women in science, the men willing to stand up and call out gender inequity and again by the huge numbers of science supporters we have in Canberra – the event was a full-house and we could have easily had double the time for questions!

The very exciting news is that Dr Dielen has agreed to be the Chair of the ACT National Science Week Committee for next year, so science is in good hands!!

What do you think is the biggest hurdle for women in science?