Gearing Roles launches the Nobel Run board game to give visibility to women in science

Gearing Roles has been featured as the European Commission Project of the Month due to its work in promoting gender equality, highlighting the Nobel Run board game.

Despite efforts to eliminate gender disparities in research and innovation, women continue to be under-represented in this field. When considering all disciplines, only a third of researchers in the EU are women and only 15 % in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women also represent less than 10 % of patent holders and founded only 8 % of European start-ups. Furthermore, only 25 % of European start-ups were founded by a team that included at least one woman. In the 119 years of the Nobel Prize, it has been awarded 876 times to men, 58 times to women, and 28 times to organizations.

That is why, within the framework of the Gearing Roles project, the University of Deusto launches the Nobel Run board game that, with a playful and innovative approach, wants to question and transform gender stereotypes and inequality in science.

The objective of the game is to manage a research team to get the Nobel Prize. At the beginning, we just have our effort, a small local project and the help of a PhD student (“predoc”). As the game progresses, we get more projects, research team and we can publish in prestigious magazines. The mechanic used is deck-building, in which a basic starting deck improves round by round thanks to the new cards we get. Relevant scientists and inventors will help us by also telling part of their story. For example, Mary Somerville, Ada Lovelace’s mentor (also present in the game), will give us extra effort because there is nothing more valuable than a good mentor or Hedy Lamarr, inventor of frequency hopping spread spectrum, will give us extra data. because thanks to this development today we have technologies such as WiFi or bluetooth.

But other cards can have negative effects such as Rosalind Franklin’s, with which you can take data away from your rivals just as the decisive photos that she had obtained were stolen (the famous Photograph 51) and whose results she had not yet published. That was the essential piece of the puzzle that Watson and Crick were missing. Even so, they only thanked her in a brief quote at the bottom of their paper.

The game, recommended for people over 10 years old, 2 to 4 people and lasting approximately 30 minutes, has been developed by Pablo Garaizar and Lorena Fernández (University of Deusto) and illustrated by Íñigo Maestro. It already has the Ludia seal for meeting all the quality criteria (skills and competencies developed, accessibility, quality of the components, mechanics, manual, recommended age, etc.).
The crowdfunding campaign starts on June 17: https://deus.to/nobelrun

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