Physics Without Frontiers

Worldwide physics outreach


South Africa: Promoting Women in Physics

Physics Without Frontiers partnered with Women in Physics in South Africa (WiPiSA), to create a series of posters highlighting female physicists and their different fields of research. The posters were displayed in high schools throughout the country to inspire and influence young people. The project was coordinated by Kate Shaw (ICTP) and Sahal Yacoob (University of Cape Town).

Thumbnails of the posters can be seen below, and can be downloaded individually from here.

The project was presented in 2016 at the International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP), the slides detailing the project can be accessed here.

The project was sponsored by the University of Cape Town (UCT), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) and the South African Institute of Physics (SAIP) Women in Physics in South Africa (WiPiSA).

Wipisa Posters

Project overview

Recent attention to the declining number of women studying physics at universities in South Africa motivated Sahal Yacoob and Kate Shaw to launch a poster campaign to influence younge people and their view of careers in physics.

The project focused on 7 female physicists from PhD students to professors in South Africa. Through interviews and photography they created a series of posters to be sent to high schools, each presenting a portrait of the physicists, some background about their careers and research, and their message to young people.

The campaign intended to influence and motivate female high school students to study physics and consider a career in research, and to break down stereotypes of physicists and careers in physics to both girls and boys and to the general public. 

Example poster: Tana Joseph. Photograph taken at the SKA telescope, South Africa.

Tana Joseph W 01 01 01