Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If you want to go to a #manel or a #YAMMM check out Cold Spring Harbor Asia meetings - where men get to speak about stuff

I just got an email about this meeting: CSH Asia 2016 Conference on Microbial Communities in the Environment: Emerging Technologies and New Frontiers:

So the first thing I did was to look at the gender ratio of speakers. I dug into each person listed here as much as a I could and attempted to infer what their gender is.  I realize this is fraught with problems and have written about this previously.  So as much as possible I looked for what pronouns were used to describe these people before infer their possible gender.  I was unable to get any clear gendered pronouns for one person but the others I think I got enough evidence to make a hypothesis.  I colored those I inferred to be male in yellow and those I inferred to be female in green. 


  • Dusko Ehrlich, INRA, France
  • Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago, USA
  • Nan Qin, Zhejiang University, China
  • Ting Zhu, Tsinghua University, China
Keynote Speakers:
  • Dusko Ehrlich, INRA, France
  • Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago, USA
Invited Speakers:
  • Christopher Carr , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , USA 
  • Yehuda Cohen , Nanyang Technological University , SINGAPORE 
  • Alana Firl , University of California, Davis , USA
  • Andrew Holmes , University of Sydney , AUSTRALIA 
  • George Kowalchuk , Utrecht University , NETHERLANDS 
  • Shuangjiang Liu , Institute of Microbiology, CAS , CHINA
  • Nan Qin , Zhejiang University , CHINA
  • Jacques Ravel , University of Maryland , USA 
  • Peter Turnbaugh , University of California, San Francisco , USA 
  • George Weinstock , Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine , USA 
  • Paul Wilmes , University of Luxembourg , LUXEMBOURG 
  • Gary Wu , University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine , USA 
  • Ruifu Yang, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, CHINA
  • Yunsheng Yang , Chinese PLA General Hospital , CHINA
  • Jun Yu , The Chinese University of Hong Kong , CHINA
  • Yu-Zhong Zhang , Shandong University , CHINA 
  • Liping Zhao, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, CHINA
  • Jizhong Zhou , University of Oklahoma, USA 
  • Ting Zhu , Tsinghua University , CHINA 
Thus of the speakers (keynotes and invited) I infer a ratio of 18 men to 2 women (and one unknown).  So that is 10% women.  Not remotely representative of the gender in the general area of microbial communities.  

And sadly this is not the first time I have seen such skewed ratios in meetings from Cold Spring Harbor.  See for example: Yet another mostly male meeting (YAMMM) from Cold Spring Harbor and 

I note - this whole thing saddens me even more because one of the invited female speakers is Alana Firl, who is a post doc at UC Davis jointly working in my lab and Sundar's lab.  She is completely awesome and brilliant.  But this meeting?  Well, it is a manel (a panel of mostly men).  A YAMMM (yet another mostly male meeting).  And a disappointment.  

So I decided to see if maybe it was just this meeting in the CSHL Asia series and if others were all OK.  So I went to their list of past meetings and looked at just the keynote speakers. 

Precision Cancer Biology and Medicine: 3 keynotes.  All male. 
Francis Crick Symposium: Advances in Neuroscience. 2 keynotes. One male. One female. 
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy. 2 keynotes. Both male. 

And I went to their list of future meetings and looked at a few (in fields I knew a bit about)
Frontiers in Single Cell Genomics: three keynotes - all male
Telomere and Telomerase: one keynote - male 
Synthetic Biology: one keynote - male
Chromatin, Epigenetics and Transcription: three keynotes -all male
DNA Metabolism, Genomic Stability and Diseases: two keynotes - one male and one female

So in these meetings it is 29:3 male to female for the keynote talks.  Less than 10% female. Great.  CSH Asia meetings.  Where men get to speak about all the stuff they know.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Some notes on requesting for 700s for UC Admins ...

How to find form 700s for UC officials?

This turns out to be simple yet slow and offline.  Here is what I found from the UC Davis Counsel site.
Accessing UC Davis Records
  • Identifying Records: To help us provide records promptly, please provide specific information about the records you seek including the record name, subject matter, author's name, date, office, or department that created the record.
  • Time Deadlines: UC Davis has 10 days to determine if it will disclose the requested records. A limited 14-day extension may apply. If records cannot be provided within these deadlines, we will provide an estimated delivery date, and the records will be disclosed in a reasonable period of time.
  • Copying Fees: UC Davis charges 20 cents per page as the direct cost for duplicating records. When the campus must compile or extract electronic data or perform computer programming, it may charge its full costs.
  • Exemptions: UC Davis will provide access to all public records upon request, unless the law provides an exemption from mandatory disclosure. Examples of exempt records may include: personnel records, investigative records, drafts, confidential legal advice, records prepared in connection with litigation, and information that may be kept confidential under other state or federal laws.
Requests for Statements of Economic Interest Forms (Form 700)
  • Statement of Economic Interest (Form 700): If you would like to obtain a copy of the Form 700 of a UC public official, you may email your request to You may also obtain a Form 700 by dialing the Office of the General Counsel at 510-987-9800. Press “0” to speak with a receptionist, and ask to obtain a Form 700 from the Form 700 assistant. Finally, you may request a Form 700 if you enter UC Office of the President at 1111 Franklin Street during business hours by using the courtesy lobby phone to call the Office of the General Counsel. Appointments are not required to obtain copies of Form 700’s, but emailing or calling in advance of coming to the building will expedite the response to your request.
You may submit a request for records by email to Prior to making a request, you may find information in the Frequently Asked Questions section helpful.

So I just wrote to them to see how long this takes (sent 3/24 at 7:28 AM)
I am writing to request a copy of the form 700 filings for the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi for the last 10 years.  If it is not possible to request the form for this many years I would like to request it for the most recent year.
Jonathan Eisen

OMG.  And just a minute later I find out the message bounced.  See "simple" returned message below.  WTF am I supposed to do with that?

So - I guess getting form 700s is not so easy.  Shocking.

So now I will try to other address listed here.
You may submit a request for records by email to
To whom it may concern 
I submitted a request for form 700s based on instructions at
Email to the address listed ( bounced.  So I am writing now to the other address listed. 
I am writing to request a copy of the form 700 filings for the UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi for the last 10 years.  If it is not possible to request the form for this many years I would like to request it for the most recent year. 

Jonathan Eisen

Someone from the UC Davis office wrote back to me really quickly which is great
Dear Dr. Eisen, I believe the reason that your email bounced back is because it is incorrect.  The correct email for your request is  (copied above). The Office of the President is the “office of record” for all Form 700s.  I would have to go through the same process as you do to acquire this information.  Please feel free to contact me later next week if you still have not received a response from OP, but usually requests are responded to within a couple of business days.  (FYI - tomorrow is a University holiday.) Regards,
I wrote back to try and get them to correct their web site mistake
Thanks so much for the quick reply.  I note - I got the address from the Office of the Campus Counsel website 
It would be good to fix that site with the correct address.  See a screen capture below.

A few minutes later they wrote back saying they were going to fix the incorrect email address.  Yay.  One step forward towards transparency. A very small step. But still ...

3/29/16 - Forms Received

Got an email with the forms a few minutes ago (~ 4:15 PM)

Dr. Eisen: Attached please find the response to your request for the Statement of Economic Interests, Form 700s, for Chancellor Katehi. Please note: we are required by law to retain Form 700s for only seven years. At this time, we consider CPRA #16-1590 fulfilled and your file will be closed. Thank you. Sincerely, UCOP Public RecordsOffice of General Counsel1111 Franklin St., 5th FloorOakland, CA

So that is about 5.5 days.  Not terrible.  But it would be better for these to be online somewhere.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blast from the not so distant past - special issue of JMBE on Scientific Ethics

So _ picked up my new issue of Microbe in the mail today and I saw something in it that seemed very intriguing.

A whole section of JMBE - the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education dedicated to Scientific Ethics.  Sounded intriguing.  So I looked it up.  Took a bit to find it but there it was from December 2014 - Volume 15 number 2

I don't know about the specific articles but the whole collection seems definitely worth a look and of potentially many uses.

So I have listed the individual papers below.  Kudos to ASM and JMBE for putting this together.  Now off to read some of the papers.

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