EXPOsing gender in science: a visual analysis with lessons for gender awareness and science diplomacy

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Worldwide mega-events have a significant political purpose, demonstrating various commitments to topics, such as energy conservation and gender equality. Gendered imagery at these major events can provide insight into an organizational or country perspective. The portrayal of people in imagery reinforces ideas and teaches audiences who are allowed to take-on various roles (e.g., doctors, teachers, or scientists). In other words, gender-balanced or -biased imagery could then either raise awareness to reduce a gender gap or reinforce gendered stereotypes. As such, this article examines gendered imagery at a mega event with a scientific-focus. The visual analysis uncovered the extent to which images of scientists shown across 11 European Union member state country-pavilions at the Astana Expo (Kazakhstan) presented science as gender-balanced. Results demonstrated gendered depictions of science across the European states with varying levels of bias towards men, with no country-pavilion having a gender-equal presentation. Findings suggest the need to raise awareness about gender equality, including for science diplomacy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGender, Technology and Development
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020


  • Expo
  • gender in science
  • diplomacy
  • informal learning
  • visual analysis


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