Send a scientist to Antarctica to promote women in science!

By Daisy Hessenberger

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This New Year's, 80 women in science from around the world travel to Antarctica. To promote women in science, help me be one of them.

After meeting at the tip of Argentina, we will set off aboard the Ushuaia, heading across Drake passage, through some of the roughest seas in the world as part of the Homeward Bound project. This groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women includes:

  • ONE year of leadership training with global faculty including Dr Jane GoodallDr Robert Kaplan, and Christiana Figueres.
  • THREE weeks on a ship in the Antarctic waters visiting research stations along the coast, hearing about climate change research.
  • FOUR pre-voyage coaching sessions with leadership experts.
  • INNUMERABLE benefits. As the third of ten cohorts, we will be joining joining a 1000-strong network of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) encouraging global and interdisciplinary collaborations.

All this is aimed at making the most of an underused resource on our planet - women in science. I know I can help.


Too many women are leaving science.

During my PhD at Cambridge, I met some incredible scientists via conferences and collaborations but it was coffee and Chlamy* that brought me together with Dr Madeline Mitchell. One topic that we would discuss over and over again was the state of gender equality in science.

While I felt privileged to work in a department with some great scientists who are women (e.g. Prof Alison Smith, department head and Prof Beverley Glover, the reason I got into plant sciences), I felt and still feel that we have a long way to go. We are suffering from a "leaky pipeline" where the higher up the academic ladder you look, the more women are leaving science (She Figures 2015 report, EU). The women who do remain face further challenges; "it will take 16 years for women and men to publish papers in equal numbers" (Ed Yong, The Atlantic).


Make me part of Homeward Bound 2019.

I have always aimed to promote the role of women in science and been vocal about the challenges facing the scientific community. So when Maddie told me last year  that she was going to Antarctica in 2018 with 74 other women to promote women in STEM, I knew this was something I needed to do.

The Homeward Bound Project aims to send 1000 women-in-science to Antarctica in 10 years. By doing so they want to empower women to lead in scientific disciplines and connect a network of scientists to the main challenge facing our planet, climate change.

This is not just 21 days on a boat with 80 women battling the Southern Seas; this is a year long leadership program, encouraging women to stick with science and, by being visible, to inspire other women to do the same.

And I plan to be visible! As a science communicator, I know that I can amplify the message of the Homeward Bound project to reach more people. I already promote science in my blog with Chloé Schmidt, Pineapples and Whales, my @DaisyScience Twitter, and via my improv theatre show, CatCave9. But to get to Antarctica and inspire more women to stand up for science, I need your help.


I need your help to fund my berth to Antarctica. Pledge your support (every little bit counts) and share my Chuffed crowdfunding page.

Although part of the costs are funded by the Dattner Grant and other corporate funders, each woman is expected to raise enough to cover the rest. This is both to make this outreach initiative possible with a not-for-profit foundation AND to give each woman a platform for greater visibility.

This is your opportunity to help an early career woman in science promote gender equality. Whether big or small, your pledged funds are much appreciated and will help to cover:

  • Remaining costs for ship to Antarctica for 21 nights: GBP £8,800
  • Return flights: GBP £1800
  • Additional equipment (eg. deck shoes, silk under gloves): GBP £500
  • Travel insurance for 30 days: GBP £100

To see the results of your donation, track my progress and follow me on my:

To track the results of the Homeward Bound project at large check out their:


Fund one more. The next cohort of Homeward Bound needs to be more inclusive than ever before.

I hope to go one step (and many more pounds) further. Every pound above my target of £10,000 will be put towards a scholarship so that we can send another women in science to Antarctica in #HomewardBound2020 to not just promote women in science but to promote diversity.

I will put the money towards the Homeward Bound Project as part of their scholarship program. Because for every woman sent on this expedition, we are supporting another ten, twenty, a hundred women in science that know her, to do the same, to stand up for science.


Sponsorship - the sky's the limit!

Victorinox Logo

If you are interested in other sponsorship opportunities get in touch at or check out my website for inspiration.

Possibilities for sponsorship by schools:

  • Send a message to a penguin asking about climate change
  • Stuffed animal companion
  • Presentation exploring Antarctica
  • Careers talk on how to get into science

Possibilities for sponsorship by corporations:

  • Personalized leadership presentation
  • Improving communications via improv theatre training workshop
  • Brand promotion

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Team Members

Daisy Hessenberger

Enrico Milanese

Homeward Bound

Kathrin Garschall