Male-dominated conferences in neuroscience

The NY Times reports on a data-based analogue of the Gendered Conference Campaign in neuroscience:

[The organizers] started a website called BiasWatchNeuro, with an inaugural post on the conference. Since then, they have posted gender ratios among speakers at more than 60 conferences in various areas of neuroscience, and compared them with the base rates — the proportion of female scientists in that particular field. The base rates are estimated from the number of women in grants databases. If anything, Dr. Niv said, the site errs on the side of underestimating the base rates.

At about half of the conferences listed on the site so far, the number of female speakers matches or surpasses the base rate in that field in general. But what fuels the project, Dr. Niv said, is how many conferences continue to fall not just a little, but far short, of the proportion of women in that field.

The discussion in the article, including potential explanations for the findings and varied reactions from people within the field, is interesting, and has a lot of parallels to the case of philosophy.

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