“We need young women in science,” warns Cédric Villani

Cédric Villani, mathematician, Fields medal 2010 regrets Monday, November 14 on franceinfo “self-censorship” of the “young women” who no longer choose math in their school curriculum. “We need young women in science”, He said. As the National Mathematics Conference opens this Monday at the Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris, the Minister of National Education and Youth announced the mandatory return of the discipline for all high school students from first to back to school in 2023.

More generally, the CNRS that organizes these Assizes raises the alarm on the level of young French in mathematics and on the lack of love for the discipline. Former MP and environmentalist “Walker”, co-author of a report on math learning in 2018, thinks math is returning to the top “it will be enough to bring back the girls we need so badly”.

According to him, among the factors that keep women away from mathematics, “there is the self-censorship of many young women in a context where the canons of society, prejudices die hard. They are strengthening in the times to come. We need young women in science”.

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Cédric Villani asks for his wishes “the return of three specialties in the terminal instead of two at present”.“A lot of girls, she explains, when they go from first to final, say ‘math isn’t for me, it’s for boys. I’ll focus on biology or physics instead. It’s a serious problem for society.”

For Cédric Villani, keeping this third major in mathematics will help ensure that “Young women are part of those disciplines that contribute to predicting the world of tomorrow”.

The mathematician also paid tribute to Maryam Mirzakhani, the first woman to receive the Fields Medal in 2014. According to him, she is “the great emblem” and shows that women “they are just as well suited, just as gifted, just as capable of creating and shining in the field of mathematics”, He explained. Cédric Villani took the opportunity to support the revolution in Iran: “I hope with all my heart that this will lead to the overthrow of the current regime.”

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