Lily Dabdoub | Empowering Women in Science | Feature

Shedding a light on the personal and professional challenges women in science are exposed to when studying abroad

A scientist and photographer from Mexico

Lily Dabdoub, a scientist and photographer from Mexico, is now visiting Montreal until December 1st, 2017 in order to interview Latin American women who are studying or working in science and conducting research at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level.

Developing the SMART Project

She developed a SMART project, which is the acronym for Science, Mujeres (meaning women in Spanish), America Latina, Representing Talent. The idea of this project was born when Lily Dabdoud herself suffered from seasonal depression while doing her Master’s degree abroad. She realized that a lot of other women scientists go through the same emotional breakdowns. She noticed how academia tends to push on overachievement and tends to forget about the individuals themselves. She also found that there are a lot less women in higher ranking science positions than men, which is not encouraging for women to choose academia as a career option.

Latina woman working on a science project
© Victoria (from México) at European Organization for Nuclear Research- CERN. Doctoral candidate in Nuclear Physics, portrait from the series SMART by Lily Dabdoub
Lily Jiménez-Dabdoub before speaking at the 5th International Biennial Conference of Mental Health from Cambridge and Bedford, 2015.

Lily’s Goal

Highlighting the personal and professional challenges women in science

Lily Dabdoud wants to research and share details of the personal and professional challenges women in science are exposed to when studying abroad. She traveled to visit universities and research institutes in England and the French-Swiss border. She interviewed and photographed 17 women to date, from a wide variety of scientific backgrounds including biology, philosophy, medicine, nuclear physics, astrophysics, engineering and musical cognition.

Creating awareness about Latin American women’s scientific contributions

Lily has so far self-funded her SMART project and is looking for non-profit organizations and businesses interested in supporting her to continue her travels and research. She is also looking for galleries and museums to host her project to create awareness about Latin American women’s scientific contributions to daily life and most importantly, to encourage youth to approach science.

A little bit more about Lily

Lily has even co-authored a book under her full name Lily Jimenez-Dabdoub about Thinking Skills for high school students. As a neuroscientist specialized in music cognition, Lily has also participated in several conferences in Mexico, the United States and England.

If you are a Latin American women in the academic world in Montreal and would like to be a part of Lily Dabdoub’s SMART project, please contact her at