Science Breakfast – December 2018 – Alicia Pérez-Porro – National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution)

Dr. Alicia Pérez-Porro, Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) and Environmental Sciences adjunct professor at Baruch College (CUNY), addressed the Science Diplomats Club at the Embassy of France in the United States on December 12, 2018.


Dr. Alicia Pérez-Porro talked about the importance of having women in leadership positions for a more sustainable future, and how to contribute to gender equality in STEM fields. Recent studies demonstrate that working teams are most likely to find creative solutions to big challenges if they are diverse. Decision making processes are most likely to be successful and their effects last longer if they have women involved. What if to mitigate climate change effects we help and support more women to influence and become decision makers?


Dr. Alicia Pérez-Porro is a Research Associate at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) and an Environmental Sciences adjunct professor at Baruch College (CUNY). Her research focuses on unveiling adaptation mechanisms to a changing ocean of marine invertebrates, with special emphasis in marine sponges. She is also the founder and chair of the Commission for Women in STEM at the Association for Spanish Scientist in USA. Early this year, Dr. Pérez-Porro participated from the largest all-female expedition to Antarctica with Homeward Bound, and was selected a 92Y Women in Power 2018 fellow. Last May she and her teammates were awarded with the Red Cross Spain Gold Medal for their efforts fighting climate change and advocating for gender equality in STEM. She is also a #scicomm lover, a former professional dancer, and a mom. (website / twitter: @aliciaprzporro).

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound is a ground-breaking leadership initiative, set against the backdrop of Antarctica, which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet.
It was (literally) the dream of Fabian Dattner (Australian leadership activist and consultant), who in collaboration with Antarctic marine scientist Jess-Melbourne Thomas, initially made Homeward Bound a reality. Together, they garnered the support of significant scientific bodies and women of influence, created a strong leadership team and teaching faculty and got the project off the ground. In 2015, the project went viral and the first leadership program and Antarctic voyage took place in 2016.
Launched in 2016, the inaugural program culminated in the largest ever female expedition to Antarctica. Homeward Bound has led two cohorts of women through the year-long state-of-the-art program and Antarctic voyage, with a third cohort underway and due to depart for Antarctica on 31 December 2018.


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