This project of the Platform MAP aims to show how women scientists in the formerly male fields of mathematics, astronomy and physics (MAP) have successfully established themselves in Switzerland. It aims to encourage young women to pursue an academic career. The portrait series was launched on 8 March 2021 (International Women's Day) and will be published monthly during 2021.
Dr Anne Verhamme teaches as an assistant professor of Astronomy at the University of Geneva and researches how galaxies release energy into the universe. The 42-year-old French woman is also a mother of three teenagers and lives in Annecy. That sounds like a proof that a scientific career and family are compatible today. However, Anne Verhamme had to overcome a few hurdles before she got to that point.Image: SNF
For more than a decade, Stella Bollmann has lived for the statistical methods of psychology. Since this spring, her heart also beats for her newborn son. Starting this autumn, she wants to resume her academic work, and balance it with family life. Step by step, she wants to dis-cover how this can succeed, and what significance family and career will have in her life in the future.Image: Privat
The search for dark matter is one of the 'hot topics' in current elementary particle physics. Recently, powerful detectors have been developed that may be able to experimentally detect the components of this 'dark', invisible matter. Laura Baudis, professor of physics at the University of Zurich, has made a significant contribution to the development of this research infrastructure over the past 20 years.
Every six and a half years, comet 'Chury' (short for: Churyumov-Gerassimenko) comes close to the sun on its orbit. The last time this happened in 2015, the lump of ice-dust, only a few cubic kilometres in size, was observed at close range by the space probe ROSETTA. Kathrin Altwegg played an important role in the spectacular space mission. For the astrophysicist from the University of Bern, the mission is still not over.Image: Universität Bern
Her favorite number is 7, and her professional life revolves around numbers and shapes: Kathryn Hess teaches and conducts research at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in topology, the mathematics of shape and connectivity. As a mother of four children, her academic career has its own unconventional arc.Image: Matteo Caorsi
In Italy, female high school graduates choose to study physics much more naturally than it has been the case in Switzerland so far. Ilaria Zardo was one of these young Italian women who first became enthusiastic about studying physics and later about academic research. Today, as a professor at the University of Basel, she and her research group study heat flows at the nanoscale level.
Ruth Durrer was the first woman to take an assistant professorship in theoretical physics at the University of Zurich. Almost 30 years have passed since this appointment, 30 years in which Ruth Durrer has left her mark on her field - cosmology and astrophysics - as a professor. Despite her personal success, the 63-year-old researcher cautions: "Women's careers in science are still far from being evident."