On representation at meetings…CSHL Microbial Pathogenesis 2013

To take a page from Jonathan Eisen’s book….I started looking at some of the top meetings in my own field to gauge the representation of women on the invited speaker list…. Let’s start with some of the premier meetings in our field…. those where the biggest of the big present, attend and send their trainees…

I give you the invited speaker list for the 2013 Cold Spring Harbor Microbial Pathogenesis and Host Response Meeting… girls in red

Keynote Speaker
Jeffrey Gordon, Washington University

Invited Speakers
Theresa Koehler, University of Texas, Houston
Brendan Cormack, Johns Hopkins University
Raphael Valdivia, Duke University
Christopher Sassetti, University of Massachusetts
Russell Vance, University of California, Berkeley
Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, University of Chicago
John Rawls, Duke University
Anthony Richardson, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Craig Roy, Yale University

Don Sheppard, McGill University, Canada
Suzanne Noble, University of California, San Francisco
Gerry Wright, McMaster University, Canada
Jeffery Cox, University of California, San Francisco
Terry Roemer, Merck Frosst Center for Therapeutic Research, Canada
Lori BurrowsMcMaster University, Canada
Pradeep Singh, University of Washington

That’s 4 girls (that I can tell), out of 17 total.

C’mon – we can surely do better than this.


6 thoughts on “On representation at meetings…CSHL Microbial Pathogenesis 2013

  1. Great idea to look at the meeting lineup. But I wonder (and it is a harder number to gather) what does the faculty gender ratio look like in your field in general?

  2. There is another woman invited to give a talk who didn’t end up on the “invited” list. I believe you know her (she’s mentioned before that she overlapped with you). Why her name didn’t show up on the official list is unknown to me..

  3. Jackie- Its better than that percentage. For sure.
    Shonna- I don’t know anything about lists for that meeting that doesn’t appear on the CSHL website. But- even if there is one more- what IS the correct ratio?

  4. I am no longer feeling terribly guilty about NOT getting my abstract in on time…..It’s one of my favorite meetings and always has been, but really, REALLY, it can not be that hard to find women speakers…..

  5. “Great idea to look at the meeting lineup. But I wonder (and it is a harder number to gather) what does the faculty gender ratio look like in your field in general?”

    It shouldn’t be all that hard to acquire this data given that most societies request that new/renewing members identify their approximate field as part of the application process.

    However, just because, say, only 25% of this particular field’s faculty are women does not mean that it’s necessarily sound policy to settle for that ratio when organizing talks for conferences &c. The recognized problem is that women are underrepresented among science faculty period, and that one of the ways to address this issue, as it is for underrepresented minorities, is to increase the exposure of female scientists in a manner that will, hopefully, encourage younger women to pursue these sorts of careers* (in part by making it look less like the uninviting Ol’ Boy’s club that academia can oftentimes appear). Even if that technically means encouraging a little bit of over-representation relative to the field’s gender make-up.

    * or, as is more generally the case, to encourage them to continue to pursue these careers, rather than drift away from academia at the grad or postdoc stage.

  6. DSKS – Quite. I don’t know off the top of my head what the representation of women in my field is- but I would bet real $ that it is greater than is represented here. Furthermore, I totally agree with you that it isn’t necessary to stick with that percentage- as good enough.

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