James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Women in Conservation (and on Twitter)

A few weeks ago I posted an article with 100 conservation themed accounts to follow on Twitter. It was really popular, probably because lots of people use Twitter and it makes for quite enjoyable procrastination. At the same time though, I managed to get myself told of by quite a lot of people, because there weren’t enough Women in the list.

I was very surprised because rightly or wrongly, the ratio of men and women on the list hadn’t even occurred to me!

Why not? Well, in my own experience of conservation (a very very limited perspective, of course!), whether I or any of my colleagues are male or female has never seemed to make a scrap of difference.*

Perhaps, as a man, I am unlikely to notice these things. And let me be very clear that I have no doubt that problems of this nature have occurred and still do. But being young and optimistic, I can’t help feeling (hoping) that my generation of young scientists is encouragingly moving beyond these problems. You are of course very welcome to disagree.

The only way we will tackle conservation issues successfully is with a diverse range of people from all walks of life, both men and women, from many different countries with many different skills and perspectives.

So in response to the critics main comment, you’re absolutely right – there are of course many brilliant female conservationists out there and I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight them.

As ever, if I’ve missed someone that you would like to see included (this list is by no means exhaustive!) then please do suggest them in the comments.

*Except maybe in the Middle East, but overall, our experience was extremely positive.

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