The competition was developed to increase the inclusion and visibility of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic scientists and mathematicians and involves students creating art based on the profiles of six BAME researchers from STEM departments at the University of Oxford. There were 215 entries from school pupils in Oxfordshire.
Winners were selected from each year group by a panel of judges. One of the winners was Bethany Atherton, whose entry drew from the profile of Acheampong (Aché) Atta-Boateng and his research on bees and the pollination of cacao flowers.
Atherton said in a statement included in the University’s announcement: “Winning this feels absolutely amazing. I love to draw and spend most of my time doing this. To be able to include a strong message in my drawings that others will now see, makes it even more exciting. My grandparents keep bees and so Aché Atta-Boateng’s research about pollination jumped out at me, as this is a topic that is very close to my heart.”
Winners of this competition receive an opportunity to have their work displayed in the upcoming Beyond Boundaries exhibition in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and are awarded £100. Runners up in each year category received £50.
The competition was noted in the university’s Diversity Awards 2020 for raising awareness of diversity in scientific research. Daisy Hung, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, MPLS Division, Oxford University, said: “It was a great opportunity for us to highlight the incredible researchers of colour in the Division and to show young people that they can be scientists too.”
Emmanuelle Dankwa, one of the researchers whose profiles were featured in the competition, also highlighted how she learnt from the experience, saying: “Participating in Beyond Boundaries has not only helped me think more deeply about the ways in which I communicate my research to non-experts, but has also afforded me the wonderful privilege to share my story to inspire a young person out there to aspire to careers in STEM.”
Entries to the competition can be viewed on the Beyond Boundaries website.