By day, Celeste Labedz is a cryoseismologist and PhD student. But online, she’s now known as the “science princess.”
Labedz studies glaciers and last month she posted a photo of herself on an Alaska glacier wearing a cape like Elsa’s in the Disney movie Frozen, with the message: “I firmly believe that kids should not be taught that girly things & science-y things are mutually exclusive.”
“There are a lot of role models out there in science, but historically women have been kind of excluded,” Labedz told CBC.
Labedz, who is a PhD student at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, was at the Juneau Icefield in Alaska to study glaciers. She said she decided to don the cape from her Halloween costume to show little girls that science and being “girly” can go together.
It started spreading to parents who were sharing it with other parents.– Celeste Labedz
“Based on the history we don’t often see science mixing with what we think of as really girly things,” she said. “So I thought that showing that off a little bit would be fun, since I know I like princesses, and I like science.”
Reaction to the post has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Labedz said, with more than 2,000 retweets and nearly 11,000 likes.
“It started spreading to parents who were sharing it with other parents, who were telling me in lots and lots of comments that they were showing it to their kids who just loved Frozen,” she said.
“It was really sweet and heartwarming.”
Labetz says traditionally people tend to think of scientists as white, male, wealthy, straight and able-bodied.
“A lot of our institutions are built for people like that, unfortunately. And how to solve that is really tricky,” she said.
She’s aiming to show girls more inclusive role models.
“That’s kind of an angle that I’m trying to go with here: to show girls, ‘Hey it’s OK that you have this girly interest. You can still be a scientist. That’s just fine.”