Scots computer scientist honoured as ‘inspiration to women’

Professor Carron Shankland hopes to inspire more women to study computer science. Picture: Contributed
Professor Carron Shankland hopes to inspire more women to study computer science. Picture: Contributed
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A Scots computer scientist will be honoured at Bletchley Park as part of an initiative to celebrate women in maths and computing for their achievements and ability to inspire others.

Carron Shankland, professor of computing science at the University of Stirling, will receive a Suffrage Science award at the English estate renowned as the location where the enigma code was cracked during the Second World War.

Organised by the Medical Research Council, the awards will be presented to 12 female scientists on October 11.

Professor Shankland successfully led Stirling to a bronze Athena SWAN institutional award, recognising good practice in gender equality in higher education.

She hopes that raising the profiles of women in computer science will inspire more to study the subject.

“To any young women considering a career in computing I say: go for it,” the academic said.

“Computing is a very exciting discipline, which interacts with almost every part of our lives. You can be a games programmer, a web developer or work with medical sciences to test new drugs. The options are endless.”

Prof Shankland’s own research includes creating computational models of biological systems to tackle questions such as ‘how does disease spread?’, and ‘how do cancer cells interact?’

She added: “It’s great to give back and help get more women involved in the discipline. At Stirling, we’ve organised Science Fairs, and a very successful Science Cabaret, under the ScienceGrrl banner to show that a career in science is creative and exciting, and available to everyone.”

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