Skip navigation links

Jan. 27, 2021

MSU Research and Innovation to host ‘Picture a Scientist’ screening

Month-long event to celebrate women in research at MSU

The Office of Research and Innovation will host a series of events in February and March surrounding the viewing of “Picture a Scientist.”

The independent documentary film follows a groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists.

According to the film’s directors, “Picture a Scientist brings diversity in science into sharp view at a crucial time. The current pandemic demonstrates the critical need for scientists to work together globally, with a multitude of different perspectives. For too long, women and other minorities in science have been left out or driven out, stymied by a system of harassment, discrimination and general bias.

“Any impediment to advancing minorities in science is an impediment to science itself,” said Sharon Shattuck, co-director. “As we see today, science requires constantly challenging our own assumptions. And that must be true not only for the discoveries and breakthroughs, but also for the people who are encouraged to make them.”

The first screening of the film will kick off on Feb. 11, International Day of Women and Girls in Science, with a second opportunity to view the documentary on March 8, International Women’s Day.

“Well-informed observers realize that women make groundbreaking contributions in all areas of modern research,” said Doug Gage, interim vice president for research and innovation. “MSU is committed to actions that not only reinforce current successes, but also ensure that every woman student and aspiring scientist is provided with the supportive environment, role models and mentors that will help them to make future contributions to research and scholarship. I enthusiastically urge my colleagues and students to view this important film.” 

Additional events are being planned around the viewings, including a virtual conversation with one of the researchers featured in the documentary Raychelle Burks, associate professor of chemistry at American University, and a professional colleague of MSU Foundation Professor and Assistant Vice President for Research and Innovation, Beronda Montgomery. The two will discuss their career paths, specific strategies they have used to navigate their careers and offer advice to aspiring scientists.

A panel discussion with several women in leadership and research at MSU is also being scheduled for March. More details coming soon.

Colleges, departments and research groups are welcomed and encouraged to host their own small-group discussions and materials will be available to support such efforts.

All faculty, students and staff are invited to watch the documentary. Registrants will receive a personal link that will remain active for a three-day period.

  • The first viewing will run Feb. 11-13. Register by Feb. 6.
  • The second viewing will run March 7-9. Register by March 3.

View the event page for details, related events and to register.

Media Contacts