Gender, women in science and advertisers: Unusability

The European Commission for Research and Innovation started an initiative on June 21st 2012 to get girls into scientific careers: „Science: It’s a girl thing!“
(See the link „questions about our videoclip?“ for some background infos)

A 1-minute video clip was produced by an ad agency for about 100.000 Euros. This clip was meant to raise interest in the age group of 9-13 year old females. It showed long legged photo models in high heels and short skirts, confronting a much more solemn, good looking male model als „scientist“, while lipsticks and powder puffs turn into bubbling test tubes and vice versa.
It worked exceptionally well as a viral campaign on what context markers not to use to create the context „Women as sciencists“.
With other words: The video – unintentionally – succeeded as discussion starter because it failed to use the right contextmarkers (whatever these are).


Stupid EU video PSA shows how *not* to promote science to young women

Here are, again, two approaches to initiate education deducible. One obvious to inform and integrate; and one to question invisible medio-cultural givens.

  • For the definition of context, contextmarkers, error and learning see: Gregory Bateson (1972), “The Logical Categories of Learning and Communications” in “Steps to an Ecology of Mind”