WISENET was the outcome of a successful Women's Studies Section at the 1984 ANZAAS Congress in Canberra, as the result of a proposal of Margarita Bowen of Canberra and Irene Irvine of Melbourne. The organisation grew as a national linking network and was incorporated in 1987. The foundation link team was in Canberra with representatives in other cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Hobart. The Sydney group took over responsibility for the administration of the network and production of the journal in 1991. It is envisaged that these responsibilities will be shared and rotated to other centres, as WISENET is conceived as a non-hierarchical organisation.
In addition to capital city branches, groups have formed in regional centres such as Wollongong, and there have been special interest groups such as that responsible for WISENET's special travelling exhibition on the history of women in science. Branches act autonomously, with activities focussed on local issues. WISENET lobbies government and other authorities on issues significant to women in science, runs local meetings with special lectures and meetings are arranged with visiting scientists. In 1996 WISENET became the first Affiliate Member of FASTS, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, thus increasing our lobbying power. Aspects of women in science have been publicised at conferences and science shows, at which WISENET has displayed posters and sometimes arranged talks.
The WISENET Journal is produced regularly by a volunteer editorial group. A special issue of the Journal to promote careers in science was produced and circulated to every Australian secondary school in 1998, assisted by a grant from the federal Science and Technology Awareness Unit.
WISENET is open to women and men who are interested in the sciences and in working for change in line with the objectives. New members and institutional members are welcome. If you would like to join, please complete and return the application form.
To build a supportive and active network of people interested in the objectives of WISENET and to liaise with other interested groups;
To increase women's participation at all levels in the sciences where they are now under-represented;
To provide comment and to examine the education, training and employment structures which currently restrict women's opportunities in the sciences;
To gather and disseminate data on women in science - the sciences here including the physical, social and life sciences, mathematics, computing, medicine, engineering and associated technologies;
To explore linkages between the different disciplines and promote communication between scientists and the community on science related social and environmental issues;
To promote research and
technologies for the benefit of
To explore programs for change in the sciences and support more democratic and participatory systems as an alternative to the traditional models;
To support appropriate
action to achieve these objectives.
For more information on Aims and Objectives see the WISENET Constitution.
Page last updated 10 July 2005