Where are the Women in Australian Science? is an online exhibition that highlights the women recognised in Bright Sparcs and provides access to them as a select subset. The exhibition was an end product of a project funded by the Commonwealth Office for the Status of Women through the National Foundation for Australian Women in 2002-2003, in partnership with the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre (Austehc).
Women have always played a significant role in the history of Australian science, technology and medicine but this tends to be forgotten. Women seem to disappear from the historical record. A primary goal of this project was to double the number of women in Bright Sparcs.
Women are 51% of the nation's population. Using their talents to the full at all levels of scientific and technological education, training and employment is an economic necessity, and an investment in Australia's future national development. The [Women in Science , Engineering and Technology] Advisory Group believes that continued under-representation and under-participation of women in SET [Science, Education and Technology]-based education, training and employment is not only a cause for social concern on equity grounds, it is also likely to inhibit Australia's capacity to develop internationally competitive research and industries. There needs to be greater recognition of the value of different perspectives, priorities and operating styles that women can bring to SET.
Discussion paper from the Commonwealth Office of the Chief Scientist, 'Women in Science, Engineering and Technology', prepared by the Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Advisory Group, 1995.