The first all-women expedition to Antarctica will bring expertise from across the sciences to develop research on how climate change will affect the planet’s women.
Homeward Bound launched its first year-long at-sea training for 78 scientists “to enhance the influence and impact of women in science to ensure the sustainability of our beautiful planet.”
The program has a 10-year mandate to create a network of 1,000 women “to contribute to the recognition of our planet as home,” according to its website.
The Antarctica trip, the culmination of the program, will last three weeks and was chosen for being the most vulnerable to global warming.
The team includes astronomers, engineers, physicists, science communicators, doctors and social scientists — all fields in which women are visibly underrepresented. Some big-name scientists will participate, including primatologist Jane Goodall and environmental activist Franny Armstrong.
"I think the scope of the program isn't intended to be only for women," said Jess Melbourne-Thomas, head of the Australian Antarctic Division, to the Sydney Morning Herald.
"The participants in this voyage will be, but partly that's to address the issue of the leaky pipeline in science, in influential positions you see fewer and fewer women."