29 Jun 2020

Foreword

This issue of the Newsletter comes from a previous world: it was planned well before the pandemic and the disruption that came with it. We decided to keep more or less to the original plan, since the material we collected is very good and we had no time or workforce to publish two issues and cover in real time what was happening. We are planning a special issue on the impact of COVID.

Most of the big events planned this spring, on February 11th and March 14th, were cancelled or took place in a reduced form. We are very happy to publish Betül Tanbay‘s (Istanbul) passionate account of what did not happen in the occasion of 2020 IDM and her reflections on the importance of mathematics in re-thinking a new world. We share Betül’s  question: should we really aim to ‘go back to normal ‘ or shall we try to find a new way?

Women in general, and women scientists in particular, were and are looking for new ways for a more equal world. Finding new ways was the scope of the Gender Gap project, which ended with the publication of the Gender Gap in Science Book (and Booklet). Marie-Françoise Roy (Rennes) tells us about the results: the book is fundamental reading for anyone interested in gender issues in science.

New ways must also be found to address another urgent issue that the current crisis has highlighted: Black Lives Matter very much to all of us. As protests against systemic racism, police brutality and the fight for Black lives continue worldwide, the EWM community joins the call for action and stands in solidarity.

However, we know that a message of solidarity is not enough. Going forward the EWM editorial team commits: to review how we select the topics and interviewees to ensure diversity and inclusivity; to dedicate a special focus on women of colour in academia; and, to encourage our readers to join us in educating ourselves on racism within academia and how we can affect meaningful change. We have a long way to go and we are all accountable for making the changes that need to happen. We hope you will join us and we welcome any suggestions.

We interviewed Ana Caraiani (Imperial College London), winner of one of the EMS 2020 prizes, Elisa Lorenzo Garcia (Rennes) and Giulia di Nunno (Oslo). Antonella Marini (Yeshiva) sent us a beautiful personal article on Karen K. Uhlenbeck.

The Royal Society in Edinburgh wrote an article for us about their exhibition of portraits of RSE women fellows, and the Fraunhofer Institute in Kaiserslautern sent an article about their initiatives to support the careers of women mathematicians. Sara Munday (John Cabot University) writes about the project “Snapshots of Modern Mathematics“. Sietske Tacoma (Utrecht) and Quintijn Puite (Eindhoven) reported on the 2020 European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad which, due to the current pandemic, had to take place entirely online. And, Urszula Foryś (Warsaw) reported on the second conference of Polish Women in Mathematics.

Finally, we welcome our two new editors: Houry Melkonian (Exeter) and Ellie Dillon (Aalto).

Enjoy  reading.