Monday, October 30, 2017

YAMMM alert: Yet another mostly male meeting - Frontiers in Microscopy at Janelia Farm

So I got invited to a meeting at Janelia Farm today. Alas I cannot go because it is while I am teaching in the Spring. But in pondering the meeting (which is not posted currently on the Janelia site) I decided to snoop around and see what their other meetings looked like. And, as I generally do, I also scanned the meetings to see if they seemed to have diverse participant pools. And, well, the first meeting on their Spring meeting list alas did not look so good from a diversity point of view.
This is the meeting: Frontiers in Microscopy Technologies and Strategies for Bioimaging Centers Network
This unique meeting will bring together directors of imaging centers and program leaders of open access infrastructures. Our goal is to create a platform to explore the frontiers in imaging technologies, discuss common challenges, and strategize how the global imaging community can build a common network to tackle the era of “big data” as well as rapid technological advances in microscopy.
First glance did not look great so I dug into it a bit more. I tried to infer the gender of the people listed on the site by looking for their personal web sites or other descriptions of them to see what gender pronouns were used. When that was not available I guessed based on name or appearance. I know this is not ideal / perfect but it usually does a decent job of estimating gender balance for a meeting.

Here is what I inferred (and color coded). 
  • Male
  • Female

  1. Teng-Leong ChewJanelia Research Campus/HHMI 
  2. Antje Keppler, European Molecular Biology Laboratory 

Ok that is good. It has been shown that having a good gender balance of organizers can help lead to a good balance for a meeting. 

Invited Participants
  1. Holly Aaron, University of California, Berkeley
  2. Pablo Ariel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  3. Richard Cole, NY State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center
  4. Hunter Elliott, Harvard Medical School
  5. John Eriksson, Turku BioImaging
  6. Scott Fraser, University of Southern California
  7. Jeremy Freeman, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  8. Ronald Germain, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/NIH
  9. Gary Greenburg, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  10. David HoffmanJanelia Research Campus/HHMI
  11. James Jonkman, Advanced Optical Microscopy Facility
  12. Luke Lavis, Janelia Research Campus/HHMI
  13. Jennifer Lippincott-SchwartzJanelia Research Campus/HHMI
  14. Elisa May, University of Konstanz
  15. Robert Price, University of South Carolina
  16. Joshua Rappoport, Northwestern University
  17. Jean Salamero, Institut Curie
  18. Hari Shroff, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering/NIH
  19. Robert Singer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  20. Jason Swedlow, University of Dundee
  21. Aaron TaylorJanelia Research Campus/HHMI
  22. Paul Tillberg, Janelia Research Campus/HHMI
  23. Jean-Yves Tinevez, Institut Pasteur
  24. Michael Unser, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  25. Jennifer Waters, Harvard Medical School
  26. Simon Watkins, University of Pittsburgh
Well, this is pretty skewed.  That comes to 22:4 male; female.

Or 85% male.

The meeting I was invited to had a pretty good gender balance of invited participants.  So maybe this microscopy meeting is an anomaly.  But it made me wonder - does HHMI or Janelia Farm haver a diversity policy for meetings?  I could not find anything in Googling around or looking at their web sites.  If they do not have one, I think they should consider developing one.  I did find many examples of what seems to be a commitment to supporting diversity in STEM by HHMI.  But this meeting is definitely not doing a good job of that.  HHMI can do better.

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