Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)

B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, 'Science Girl'

Children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford says children are naturally inquisitive, but that curiousity isn’t always nurtured, especially in girls.

Ford’s new book she aims to change that by showing how that habit of always asking “why?” can lead to a career in the sciences.

On March 6, she is holding a virtual book launch for the latest in her Awkward and Awesome series, Science Girl. At the launch Ford will read from and discuss the book and take questions from viewers.

Watching B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s regular COVID-19 updates made the Nanaimo-based author think about women in the sciences. She said she was interested to learn that women are underrepresented in the field, citing United Nations data that less than 30 per cent of those employed in science and technology are women.

Ford hopes to address that discrepancy through her book, as it encourages little girls to develop an interest in the sciences at a young age.

“I feel like if the future is anything, it’s more science,” Ford said. “We need to be looking at sciences more and maybe more women in the sciences could help.”

“[Children] are always very curious and inquisitive and that’s what science is, right?” Ford said. “Asking questions, being curious … that’s what science is and I was like that as a kid and I kind of wish I had followed that. I still am like that as an adult.”

Ford said the book looks at how science can be applied to questions children ask, accompanied by her “big and bold” illustrations. She said characters from her previous stories make appearances in Science Girl.

Ford said she’s wanted to write a science-themed book ever since she saw her young daughter playing with a magnifying glass, but the coming of COVID-19 and constant news about viruses and vaccines brought science back to the fore. Ford said 2020 was “a year of science.”

“I felt I just became way more interested in bacteria and vaccines and all this science-y stuff,” Ford said.

Science Girl comes out March 8, International Women’s Day. It is available at Ford’s website.

WHAT’S ON … Science Girl book launch takes place on Lindsay Ford’s Facebook page on March 6 at 11 a.m.

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