Changes are possible – it just needs an effort

It is almost two weeks since I wrote my blog about the gender bias among EGU’s awards and medals. The reactions to my post were many. Some of these led to interesting discussions, some provided tips on further reading, and some were of the opinion that the situation within geosciences in Sweden is not at all as good as I think or write. Discussions are important, but it is even more important to continue these discussions and to become aware of the fact that we all are biased in different ways.

Last week, Günter Blöschl, the President of EGU, let me know that EGU is looking into the data set, and today EGU sent out the following mail:

Dear Colleague,
Dear Barbara Wohlfarth,
We would like to draw your attention to the Awards and Medals programme of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for the year 2014, which is now open for nominations: The final deadline for submissions is 15 June, 2013. Please see: for more information on proposing candidates and on the selection process. The awards will be presented at the EGU General Assembly 2014 (27 April – 2 May) in Vienna. Nominations for all the Medals and Awards should be sent by email to Before submitting a nomination, please take a look at our checklist at: to make sure your nomination and supporting documents satisfy the EGU requirements. Please note that the EGU Council recently decided that at least two nominations are required to confer a medal or an award (with the exception of the Union Service Award).
The EGU particularly encourages the community to promote the best deserving geoscientists from around the world with particular regard to gender, geographical and cultural balance. Please consider submitting a nomination.
We thank you very much for your support to the EGU Awards and Medals programme!
Kind regards,
Alberto Montanari, Chair of the EGU Awards Committee
Günter Blöschl, EGU President

So now it is time to start nominating suitable candidates for next year’s EGU medals. As detailed in the EGU guidelines (see links above), this is a process that needs quite a bit of work and engagement. But without any efforts, the number of women medalists won’t increase next year either! If each of us nominates his/her favorite female candidate/s, I am sure the numbers will look different next year. Changes are possible!

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