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Norwegian children's not-so-mad scientists

December 14, 2005 This article courtesy of Nature News.

Kids' art competition shows up a better image for researchers.

Goodbye, Dr Frankenstein. Kids these days have a more multifaceted image of scientists, according to some of their pictures.

A decade ago, when the Research Council of Norway's youth club held an art competition for children aged 5 to 15, most of the pictures of scientists were of the stereotypical mad variety, complete with dishevelled hair and test tubes. And they were all men.

In this year's competition, though, scientists were drawn excavating dinosaur bones, in outer space and studying whalesÐ underwater. Of the hundreds of drawings submitted, 30% were of female scientists.

The council's Marianne Løken says she hopes the drawings reflect more realistic views of scientists, but cautions that the study is just an informal glimpse of children's attitudes.


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