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To mark the occasion of ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’ on 11 February, EURAMET talked to Maguelonne Chambon on her views on being a woman in science. Maguelonne is Director Research at LNE, the French National Metrology Institute, and a member of EURAMET's Board of Directors.
Maguelonne, what made you start a career in science?
Once I heard about a teacher of my sister who said that science is not for women. Unbelievable; it was a shock. We were in the 1980's. In my youth, one of my idols was Marie Curie, a young woman with the clear goal to work in science. To me she was an exceptional person having this strong conviction and a real inspiration. My professors always insisted that a measure cannot be given without unit and uncertainty. That was a sign to me. It was obvious that I would like to work in science, or more exact: in the science of measurement.
Are you happy being a metrologist?
I have never regretted this choice: Throughout my working life I have met wonderful and enthusiastic researchers, from very various fields of physic and chemistry, in France and around the world. Working in the science of measurement is great, as it has a direct impact on our daily life.
In your view, what would convince women to choose a career in science?
In my experience, the path of life sometimes takes unexpected turns and they are often linked to people we meet. Therefore, I hope that all the young women and girls will have as committed professors as I had.Professors and teachers who are curious and creative to open the minds of their students for science. I really hope that in the future generations the number of women in science and research will increase.
Maguelonne is Director Research & Development at LNE and in charge of the French metrology system. As technical expert at LNE with almost 20 years of experience, she has been involved in European technical cooperation such as training courses for the development of metrology infrastructure in emerging countries or analysis of metrological needs of industries and societies. Maguelonne is member of various bodies, including the French Accreditation Body, she is a delegate of the Collège Français de Métrologie, member of the IMEKO Technical Board and member of the organising and the scientific committees of the 'International Metrology Congress'.
Maguelonne has been part of the EURAMET community for many years and plays an active role in the organisation. Currently she is member of the Board of Directors and member of the EMRP and EMPIR Committee. She chairs the STAIR-EMPIR group, a common platform of CEN-CENELEC and EURAMET, and she was chair of the Technical Committee for Interdisciplinary Metrology between 2010 and 2014.
For more information on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science please visit http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/index.shtml
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