Oh look! 9 male speakers

Which probably isn’t the cultural crisis under discussion.


The speakers:

Ian Angus (Vancouver, Canada)

Thomas Arnold (Heidelberg, Germany)

Diego D’Angelo (Würzburg, Germany)

Eddo Evink (Groningen, the Netherlands)

Cees Leijenhorst (Nijmegen, the Netherlands)

Corijn van Mazijk (Groningen, the Netherlands)

Ovidiu Stanciu (Paris, France)

Christian Sternad (Leuven, Belgium)

Claudio Tarditi (Torino, Italy)


Why am I telling you about this?  Find out about Gendered Conference Campaign here.

MOMiCon – A Noteworthy Conference for Several Reasons

http://momicon.org | April 3, 2016 | UC Berkeley | You can read their full mission statement here.


A non-exhaustive list of reasons why this conference is noteworthy:

–All the speakers are women

–It’s abbreviation is a smart pun

–The conference is attempting to show how academic events can accommodate mothers better:

“The Misconceptions of the Mind Conference (MoMiCon) has two aims:

(1) to bring together a small group of nationally-recognized female social scientists to present their work challenging common (mis)conceptions of the mind, engage with each other in cutting-edge intellectual dialogue, and generate high-quality video content to share with the public as scientific outreach,

and (2) to serve as a model for how to run a small, high-profile workshop-style conference while accommodating the needs of women who are academics with young children. The hope in focusing on this group is to start a broader conversation about how academic norms and institutions can change to accommodate scholars with different needs throughout their academic careers, thus reducing barriers to excellence in scholarship and facilitating academic outreach”

–The sessions look really interesting:

Keynote – Alison Gopnik
The “Parenting” Misconception: Why “Parenting” is a scientifically inaccurate and practically
dubious way to understand the relations between children and the people who care for them

Tania Lombrozo – Learning isn’t just about getting the right information

Linda Wilbrecht – Teenagers are not lacking their frontal lobes

Abigail Marsh – Human nature is not fundamentally selfish

Marjorie Rhodes – We’re not born racist

Keynote – Mary Ann Mason
Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower: How does family formation affect
academic women and men across their career, from graduate student through retirement.

June Gruber – Positive emotions aren’t all positive

Iris Mauss – Pursuing happiness can make us unhappy

Amy Cuddy – Feeling powerless is not being powerless

Men on Death and the afterlife

For an explanation of our Gendered Conference Campaign, see here.


Death and the Afterlife
22 January 2016

This symposium is an interdisciplinary exchange focused on the recent book Death and the Afterlife, by Professor Samuel Scheffler (New York University). It will bring together perspectives from social anthropology, philosophy, and political theory…It is open to scholars from all fields, and papers will be presented with a broad audience in mind.

Confirmed speakers:

Professor Samuel Scheffler (Department of Philosophy, New York University)
Professor Hallvard Lillehammer (Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London)
Professor Joel Robins (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge)
Dr James Laidlaw (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Dr Jonathan Mair (School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures, University of Manchester)
Dr Paul Sagar (Deparment of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge)

Congratulations! Your All Male Panel is Statistically Unlikely

The issue of conferences in which all the invited speakers are male is probably well known to blog readers, and is the target of campaigns such as the Gendered Conference Campaign and the hilarious Tumblr Congrats, You Have An All Male Panel. Recently, Greg Martin, a mathematician at UBC, gave an interview with the Atlantic with a nice mathematical argument showing that most all-male panels are in fact statistically quite unlikely. This nicely undercuts an all-too-common response among conference organizers that their all-male panel “just happened” or was simply the result of chance.

If conference speakers were being chosen by a system that treated gender fairly (which is to say, gender was never a factor at all), then in any conference with over 10 speakers, say, it would be extremely rare to have no female speakers at all—less than 5 percent chance, depending on one’s assumption about the percentage of women in mathematics as a whole.

Turning that statement around, we conclude that any such conference without any female speakers must have come into being in a system that does not treat gender fairly.

Martin’s interview also links to a Conference Diversity Calculator that lets you play around with calculating the likelihoods of various demographic distributions among conference speakers, given their representation among the pool of available speakers.

A business argument for diversity (& a cartoon)

Not a new argument, but a useful source:

“fooled by Experience”
Soyer, Emre
Hogarth, Robin M.
Harvard Business Review. May2015, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p72-77. 6p.
As Peter Drucker wrote, “The first rule in decision making is that one does not make a decision unless there is disagreement.” To devise healthy strategies, executives need to hear many perspectives, including feedback that is critical of their own actions. Executives should surround themselves with people from diverse backgrounds and promote independent thinking in their team. Many executives task certain coworkers, friends, or family members with speaking frankly on important matters.
Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, stresses the importance of building a brain trust, a group of advisers who will deflate egos and voice unpopular opinions. He argues in his September 2008 HBR article that disagreements in meetings end up benefiting everyone in the long run, because “it’s far better to learn about problems from colleagues when there’s still time to fix them than from the audience after it’s too late.”

Also from the same issue of the Harvard Business Review:

A company’s reputation is reliant on the conduct of its employees. Posting “funny” videos of yourself online? What were you thinking?