At the moment for us in the UK one of our biggest concerns is the increasingly difficult economic and political environment for our activities.With recently announced budget cuts, research and project funding for gender and SET work is becoming increasingly difficult to secure. Outside of academia, the economic recession has already had an impact in the private sector and is now starting to impact on women’s employment in the public and not-for-profit/voluntary sectors. Many women’s projects nationally, including gender and SET initiatives, are facing drastic funding cuts.
How can we ensure that our momentum of excellent work is maintained in the new landscape? Can we expect governments to support our work in the future if political priorities change? Or will we see a return to grass roots activism?
We have academic colleagues telling us that it is getting harder to secure funding from their institutions to participate in conferences and events – not a luxury, but vitally important for networking, sharing ideas and community building. We wondered how we could respond to this through the journal and in particular with the use of communication technologies.
One thing we are planning is a Gender and STEM Research Seminar on 15th March at the Open University with a live webcast (that will also be available after the event) so no matter where you are in the world ( if you have good internet access) you can join in the conversation. We’d like the journal to make more use of technologies to run online events such as this, which will help to maintain our networks and collaborations.
But what other things could we do to support you as a community?
We invite you also to tell us something about the situation – economic and/or political – where you are and most importantly whether you can suggest any strategies that we could all learn from in these hard pressed times.