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International Day of Women and Girls in Science



International Day of Women and Girls in Science

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Italian Cultural Institute is pleased to host a panel discussion with the participation of four Italian female academics, whose successful careers in the sciences have brought them to important positions in different NSW institutions.

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Prof. Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University), A/Prof. Susanna Guatelli (University of Wollongong), Dr. Stefania Peracchi (ANSTO), and A/Prof. Laura Piccio (University of Sydney) will discuss issues that have emerged in the past few years in the public debate about women and science, as well as perspectives for the future, through such questions as:

  • What initiatives or incentives promote and facilitate a successful scientific career for women?
  • What are the main obstacles that girls and young women encounter as they contemplate a career in science?
  • Are any aspects of scientific careers particular to Italian female academics, whether in Italy or abroad?

On 22 December 2015, the UNESCO General Assembly decided to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women. Both organisations work with national governments, intergovernmental organisations, civil society partners, universities and corporations in order to achieve the shared goal of promoting the role of women and girls in scientific fields and celebrate those already successful in the field.

As a permanent sponsor mission, the Australian Government has actively taken steps to promote and encourage female participation in alignment with the recognition and celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To commemorate the event in 2022, the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources committed A$ 6.7 million of funding to address female underrepresentation in STEM fields by expanding successful initiatives targeting the issue.

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Professor Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University) works on hydrodynamic simulations and observations of interacting multiple star systems that give rise to outbursts and explosions. She obtained a BSc and a PhD at University College London as a Perren Scholar, after which she was a Swiss National Science Foundation research fellow at ETH Zurich, a FUSE Fellow at University College London and Asimov Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She was an ARC Future Fellow. She is an active populariser of science, has been the Einstein Lecturer for The Australian Institute of Physics and is the Director of Macquarie University’s Association for Astronomy including Macquarie’s Observatory and Planetarium. Orsola is president of the International Astronomical Union Commission H3, Planetary Nebulae and Chair of the Board of Astronomy Australia Ltd. that manages funding to Astronomy Infrastructure.

Associate Professor Susanna Guatelli, with a Laurea and PhD in Physics obtained at the University of Genova in Italy, is an international leading expert of Monte Carlo radiation transport simulation codes for radiation physics. Her research is devoted to radiation protection in Earth labs, aviation and space, and to improve radiotherapy treatment in the fight against cancer. Since 2009 she is an academic of the Centre For Medical Radiation Physics, School of Physics, UOW. In addition to research and teaching in tertiary education, she is passionate about public outreach activities and mentorship of early career researchers. In 2021 she was awarded with the prestigious Women in Physics Award of the Australian Institute of Physics, which celebrates female physicists that gave a significant contribution to research in physics at the international level. In 2022 she became a member of the ARC (Australian Research Council) Panel of experts.

Dr Stefania Peracchi is an Accelerator Beamline Scientist at the Centre for Accelerator Science at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Her research is focussed on Space Radiation Effects on electronics, materials and human body. Prior to working at the ANSTO, Stefania completed her PhD at the University of Wollongong, with a thesis on the development of novel silicon on Insulator microdosimeters for radiation protection in space missions. Previously, Stefania studied in Italy at the Politecnico of Milan, and after her Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering, she moved to Paris (France) where she worked at the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) for almost two years.

Associate Professor Laura Piccio is a neurologist, and works at the School of Medical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Health of the University of Sydney. Laura obtained an M.D. and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Milan in Italy. She worked at Washington University in St Louis, USA since 2005 and in 2019, she joined the University of Sydney. Her research integrates clinical and research aspects related to multiple sclerosis and neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative diseases.

The event will be held IN ENGLISH.

Free entry. Limited seats.

Booking essential:


Date: Thursday, February 09, 2023

Time: From 6:00 pm To 7:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Lvl. 4, 125 York Str