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Picture a Scientist Profiles Extraordinary Women Who Are Making the Sciences More Diverse

When you picture a scientist, who do you see? The documentary film “Picture a Scientist” challenges viewers’ perceptions with candid profiles of three women who are flourishing in male-dominated STEM fields and opening doors for others. 

The Bologna Performing Arts Center will host virtual screenings of “Picture a Scientist” with a special Q&A with the film’s co-directors, Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney, who will present a Q&A with the audience.

The public is invited to screen the event on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Free registration for the virtual screenings is available on the BPAC’s website

“Picture a Scientist” follows three women working in the sciences: Nancy Hopkins, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and professor of biology; Raychelle Burks, Ph.D., a professor of analytical chemistry; and Jane Willenbring, Ph.D., a geomorphologist and professor of geology.

By overcoming harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights they and their peers are revolutionizing the culture of science to create a more diverse, equitable field that is open to all.

“There’s a systemic and invisible discrimination against women,” Hopkins says in the film. “If you don’t have women, you’ve lost half of the best people…This is worth fighting for.”

An official selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival, “Picture a Scientist” was hailed by Science Magazine as “sweeping in scope yet intimately compelling.”

Director/Producer Sharon Shattuck is an Emmy-nominated documentary film director and podcast host (Conviction: American Panic from Gimlet/Spotify).

Director/Producer Ian Cheney is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. He has completed nine feature documentaries, including King Corn (2007), Search for General Tso (2014), Picture Character (2019) and Thirteen Ways (2019).

This event is made possible through the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, a South Arts program. Since its inception in 1975, Southern Circuit has brought some of best independent filmmakers and their films from around the country to communities throughout the South.

The program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Admission to the virtual screenings are FREE and includes a Q&A with the filmmakers following the film. Registration is available at