The journal eLife is organizing a webinar dedicated to the topic “Being a scientist and a parent”, which is of relevance to the Athena SWAN mission. Below is a description fo the even from the eLIfe website:
“Children and research projects have a lot in common. Both can lead to sleepless nights, both require the mastery of specialist techniques, and people who are not parents or scientists often struggle to understand them. However, despite these similarities, family life and a career in research are often portrayed as being incompatible with each other. To shed a light on this topic, our next #ECRWednesday webinar will be hosted by Jeanne Saljie (eLife ECAG, Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand), Galit Lahav (Harvard Medical School, USA), David Kent (University of Cambridge, UK), and others will join her to share their own experiences and discuss strategies for researchers with young families to help them reach a work-life balance.”
You can register for this event here.
Although not directly related to life sciences, this should be a really interesting lecture. On Thursday 21st June when they will be hosting a public lecture from Wendy Sadler MBE, from Science Made Simple.
Wendy Sadler is the founding Director of Science Made Simple and a lecturer in Science Communication and Engagement at Cardiff University. She is a fellow of the RSA, University of Wales Trinity St. David, and the ERA Foundation. She was a contributing member of the Science Advisory Council for Wales, Chair and co-author of the Task and Finish report on STEM engagement in Wales and contributor to the ‘Talented Women for a Successful Wales’ report for the Welsh Government. Her passion for using innovative methods to bringing STEM subjects into wider culture has led her to receive awards including the EU Descartes Laureate in Science Communication, the Leading Wales Award (Social Enterprise), Welsh Woman of the Year (Science and Technology), WISE Excellence Award and UKRC Woman of Outstanding Achievement. She was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to Science, Engineering Communication and Engagement.
The talk will be titled “The XX Factor” and you will join Wendy Sadler MBE on a journey meeting six amazing women in STEM who are mostly unheard of despite their achievements. Discover what ground-breaking work they did and meet the modern-day scientists they inspired along the way. From sparks, light and gravity, to musical moments and crazy paper chains, this presentation has lots of demonstrations and audience interaction to engage all types of audiences. You’ll never look at a gherkin in the same way again!
The talk will be held in the Isaac Newton Lecture Theatre, and registration will be in the Isaac Newton Building Atrium at 5:30 for a 6pm start and an approximate 7pm finish. There will be refreshments before and after, and an opportunity to meet and mingle with Wendy following the lecture. You can book your place to attend here.
There has recently been a series of papers in various journals, looking at the proportion of high-impact papers with women as lead authors. This article is a good starting point to track the discussion, and it is apparent that generally women are less represented in high-impact journals than would be expected based on the proportion of women academics and recipients of high profile grants. Here’s an extract of the article:
“We began by looking at first authors (…). We expected over 40 percent to be women, similar to the percentage of women postdocs in neuroscience in the U.S. and Europe. Instead, fewer than 25 percent first authors in the journals Nature and Science were women. Our findings were similar for last authors (…). We expected the numbers to match large National Institutes of Health grants, (…) 30 percent are awarded to women – comparable to the proportion of women tenure-track faculty in neuroscience. The proportion of women last authors was half what we expected – just over 15 percent of last authors in Science and Nature were women.”
Potential reasons to explain include not only systemic bias in the publishing pipeline, but also a potential tendency for women to be more conservative when evaluating their chances of making it past the very high rejection rates of such journals. This last one has been raised in other contexts as well, but always sounds slightly circular to me. If women have less chance of making it into those journals due to implicit bias, then academically successful women quickly learn to avoid submiting to those journals to avoid delays in publishing their work.
The Eleanor Glanville Centre’s next Be Inspired! Lecture will take place on Tuesday 22nd May and will be presented by Professor Kerstin Meints from the School of Psychology.
‘Research with children and animals – from assessment to impact’
This lecture will showcase the fruitfulness of moving between basic and applied research. In particular, I will discuss how research in child development and human-animal interaction can lead to the creation of assessment tools, interventions and impact. This lecture will focus on children’s development of categorisation and language and early assessment tools as well as on human-animal interaction and methods and tools to improve safe and beneficial interactions.
- Tuesday 22nd May
- 17:00 pm
- SLB0006 Steven Langton Building
Professor Meints has received a range of prestigious research grants, for example by the Leverhulme Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), MARS-WALTHAM, and others.
She has recently been presented with the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences (MRC LMS) Suffrage Women in Science Award which celebrates women in science for their scientific achievement, their ability to inspire others, and for encouraging women to enter scientific subjects and to stay in those fields.
The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.
This lecture is free to attend but prior booking is essential
To get your tickets click here