Friday, July 03, 2015

Yet another mostly male meeting (YAMMM) from Cold Spring Harbor

I guess this would go down in "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" or something like that. A few weeks ago, I posted an anonymous guest post about the lack of female speakers at the Programming for Biology workshop at Cold Spring Harbor Labs: Guest post on Yet Another Mostly Male Meeting (YAMMM) - Programming for Biology.  This got a response from Cold Spring Harbor on Twitter claiming they do work to have diverse speakers at their meetings.

Then I got an email last week inviting me to Cold Spring Harbor meeting on the History of DNA Sequencing with a truly awful gender ratio.  So I wrote a blog post about that: Cold Spring Harbor presents the men's only view on the evolution of sequencing.  And also started a discussion about this on Twitter.

And in response to some comments from some of the CSHL Meeting people I decided to look into the past meetings in the same history of science series and was saddened with the incredibly low # of female speakers at all the meetings in this series. So I posted about that ...

And had more discussions on Twitter where CSHL made some claims about these History of Science meetings being a special case (not buying their argument, just reporting what they said).

And I thought I could have a relaxing Fourth of July weekend not spending my time dealing with Cold Spring Harbor Meetings.  And then, well, I got an email from CSHL that I just looked at a few minutes ago.  This email invited me to one of their "CSHL Asia Conferences".

I clicked on the link and when to the meeting site: Biological Rhythms and sadly I got sucked into YAMMM (yet another mostly male meeting) land.  Here are the details on the organizers and presenters as far as I could sort out.  I have labelled people I infer to be likely male in yellow and likely female in green.  (I note I accept that a binary male vs. female representation of gender is less than ideal but I think in general this is a useful thing to look and to make some hypotheses for to assess meetings).

  1. Carla Green, UT Southwestern, USA
  2. Michael Hastings, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK
  3. Joseph Takahashi, HHMI/UT Southwestern, USA
  4. Hiroki Ueda, University of Tokyo/RIKEN, Japan
  5. Han Wang, Soochow University, China
  1. Joseph Takahashi, HHMI/UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA 
  2. Ravi Allada, Northwestern University, USA 
  3. Joseph Bass, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA 
  4. Deborah Bell-Pedersen, Texas A&M University, USA 
  5. Nicolas Cermakian, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, CANADA 
  6. Xinnian Dong, Duke University, USA 
  7. Yoshitaka Fukada, University of Tokyo, JAPAN 
  8. Carla Green, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA 
  9. Jinhu Guo, Sun Yat-Sen University, China 
  10. Fang Han, Peking University People’s Hospital of Beijing, CHINA 
  11. Qun He, China Agricultural University, China 
  12. John Hogenesch, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, USA 
  13. Zhili Huang, Fudan University, China 
  14. Takao Kondo, Nagoya University/Div. of Biological Science, JAPAN 
  15. Katja Lamia, The Scripps Research Institute, USA 
  16. Cheng Chi Lee, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, USA 
  17. Yi Liu, UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA 
  18. Chang Liu, Nanjing Normal University, China 
  19. Hugh Piggins, University of Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM 
  20. Till Roenneberg, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, GERMANY 
  21. Louis Ptacek, HHMI/University of California San Francisco, USA 
  22. Hiroki Ueda, RIKEN Kobe Institute, JAPAN 
  23. David Virshup, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, SINGAPORE 
  24. Han Wang, Soochow University, China 
  25. Charles Weitz, Harvard Medical School, USA 
  26. David Whitmore, University College London, UNITED KINGDOM 
  27. Ying Xu, Soochow University, China 
  28. Xiaodong Xu, Hubei Normal University, China 
  29. Erquan Zhang, National Institute of Biological Sciences, China 
  30. Zhangwu Zhao, China Agricultural University, China

So that is 30 speakers.  Only 29 of which could I find information on the web to make a hypothesis of gender.  Of those 29, I inferred 6 - or 20% to be female.  That is just really low for biological sciences.  I am sorry Cold Spring Harbor but you are just not doing a good enough job with diversity.  Scratch that, you are doing a bad job.  Sad to see.  

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