Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Monday, July 01, 2019

Conversation boosts women’s participation at scientific meetings, Stanford study finds | Science & Technology - Stanford University News

Not only are women underrepresented at scientific meetings, they participate less than men in question-and-answer sessions, self-limiting their involvement and participation, according to Amy Adams, Director of Science Communications at Stanford University. 

A Stanford-led study reports that women at scientific meetings asked questions at a level that fell well below their level of representation, but their questions picked up once the observation was pointed out. 
Photo: Getty Images
But a public discussion of the problem helps.

Recently, some prominent men in science have publicly declared they wouldn’t attend scientific meetings that don’t adequately represent women, but a new study suggests the problem isn’t just representation – women also don’t participate at the same level as men, even when they are well represented.

A Stanford-led study published June 27 in the American Journal of Human Genetics reports that women asked questions at a level that fell well below their level of representation at two national genetics meetings over the course of four years...

A mathematical approach
Telis started noticing the disparity in question-asking as an undergraduate student in math. “The entire first day of a meeting, I was the only woman to ask a question,” she said. “I thought that was weird.”

Telis started thinking about the problem numerically. If women make up 10 percent of attendees, then one in 10 questions should come from women. But that wasn’t what she found. From then on, Telis made a habit of tracking women’s participation at meetings and talks.

When Telis joined the Stanford lab of Jonathan Pritchard, a professor of genetics and of biology, Glassberg noticed Telis taking notes on question-asking during meetings and grew curious.

Source: Stanford University News