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Female botanists from the US Department of Agriculture, mid 20th century. (Smithsonian Institution Archives)
Panel discussion on improving the visibility of women in science, following a Wikipedia edit-a-thon held in the Royal Society's library.
Professor Uta Frith FRS will lead a distinguished panel of scientists, historians and others in a discussion about why female scientists are less prominent than male scientists, and what might be done to improve the situation. Representatives from Ada Lovelace Day and Wikimedia UK will give a short overview of the Wikipedia edit-a-thon held earlier in the day.
The event will be preceded by a drinks reception starting at 5.30pm.
Biographies of the speakers are available below. Recorded audio of the conversation will be available on this page after the event.
This event is open to all and is free to attend. There are a limited number of places and registration is essential (please use the button at the top of this page).
Enquiries: Contact the events team.
Professor Uta Frith FRS, University College LondonDiscussion panel chair
Uta Frith, DBE (Honorary) was born and educated in Germany, but came to the UK as a student and has spent most of her life in London and at UCL. She was an MRC research scientist and spent her career doing research on autism and dyslexia. She is now Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development and has a visiting professorship at the University of Aarhus. Recently she has been writing about the biological basis of our social nature. She hopes that tonight she can contribute to the discussion from this field, which gives some clues about social biasses, fairness, competition and cooperation After being elected FBA and FRS, Uta felt the strong urge to promote other women in science. to this end she has set up a network, called 'science&shopping'.
Professor David Attwell FRS, University College London
David Attwell FRS is Jodrell Professor of Physiology at UCL. He studied physics as an undergraduate in Oxford, and then did a PhD in neuroscience with Julian Jack. After a post-doc in Berkeley with Frank Werblin, he came to UCL.
Suw Charman-Anderson founded Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths, in 2009. She works as a social technologist and, as one of the UK’s social media pioneers, has helped clients worldwide use social tools for collaboration and communication internally and to build customer relationships externally since 2004. As a freelance journalist, she has written about social media and technology for The Guardian, CIO Magazine, .Net Magazine, Computer Weekly and FirstPost.com. She currently blogs about publishing and crowdfunding for Forbes.com. In 2005, Suw co-founded the Open Rights Group with the aim of raising awareness of digital rights issues and campaigning against bad legislation in Britain and the EU. Suw’s blog is chocolateandvodka.com and you can follow her on Twitter (@suw).
Daria Cybulska, Wikimedia UK
Daria Cybulska studied Philosophy at Kings College London, and since graduating has worked for a number of charities tackling such diverse issues as sustainability, unemployment and diabetes, and was focusing on increasing volunteer involvement. Since starting work at Wikimedia UK in March 2012 as the Events Organiser, Daria has been involved in managing the organisation's programme of events, which include initiatives aimed at increasing people's participation in Wikipedia.
Georgina Ferry is a science writer, author and broadcaster based in Oxford. Beginning as a section editor on New Scientist magazine and a contributor to science programmes on BBC Radio, she has since been largely self-employed. Her book Dorothy Hodgkin: A Life (Granta 1998) the first biography of Britain's only female Nobel-prizewinning scientist, was short-listed for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Marsh Biography Award. Since then she has published The Common Thread: A Story of Science, Politics, Ethics and the Human Genome, co-authored with Sir John Sulston (Bantam); A Computer Called LEO (Fourth Estate); and Max Perutz and the Secret of Life (Chatto). In 2010, the centenary of Dorothy Hodgkin’s birth, she wrote and produced a one-woman play, Hidden Glory, based on the scientist’s life and writings.
Dr Susan Hawkins, Kingston University
Dr Susan Hawkins is a senior lecturer in history in Kingston University’s Centre for the Historical Record. She gained her doctorate on nursing in Victorian London, which was based on a prosopographical methodology to study the changing characteristics of nursing and nurses in the late 19th century. This research has led her into wider consideration of the professional roles of women in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since 2003 she has been involved in the Historic Hospital Admission Records project (HHARP) which has built databases of admissions to children’s hospitals in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These have been made available to the general public via a dedicated website. In addition to the history of children's hospitals and nursing, her research interests include women's and gender history in the 19th century, and the history of healthcare. She is also an experienced oral historian and is interested in the use of technology-based methodologies in history, such as prosopography. The Centre for the Historical Record is interested in breaching barriers between academic historians and the public, and is particularly interested in how digital technologies can be harnessed with this goal in mind.
Professor Emily Holmes, University of Oxford
Emily A. Holmes is a Programme Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Science Unit, Cambridge. She is also a Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellow, and a Visiting Professor in Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. Her work in experimental psychopathology seeks to develop empirically-driven innovations in cognitive therapies (e.g. “CBT”). The key psychological processes her team seeks to understand are mental imagery and cognitive biases. She serves on the Royal Society's EDAN (Equality and Diversity Advisory Network) committee.
Professor Richard Holmes FBA
Richard Holmes is a Fellow of the British Academy, and was Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia (2001-2007). He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of East Anglia, East London and Kingston, and was awarded the OBE in 1992. His first book, Shelley: The Pursuit, won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1974. Coleridge: Early Visions won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and Dr Johnson and Mr Savage won the James Tait Black Prize. Coleridge: Darker Reflections won the Duff Cooper Prize and the Heinemann Award. The Age of Wonder was shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize 2009 and won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction (USA), and was named one of the Best Books of 2009 by the New York Times and the No. 1 Non-Fiction book of 2009 by Time Magazine. He is an Hnorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and lives in London and Norfolk with the novelist Rose Tremain.
Professor Kate Jeffery, University College London
Kate Jeffery is a Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL, interested in the neural basis of navigation and memory, and is currently also Head of the Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences Research Department. Originally a medical graduate from New Zealand, she came to the UK in 1990 to study for a PhD in neuroscience, met her now-husband here and has never left. They have three children (all girls) and consequently a great deal of practice juggling work-life balance, all of which has fostered a keen interest in the issue of female career progression. She has engaged with this issue in various ways, particularly in working with UCL towards Athena SWAN awards, and also by participating in various discussion forums both online and in real life. She hopes, in tonight's discussion, to explore the importance of shared parenting as a route to female equality in the workplace, and also the extent to which women's own attitudes might impact on their career progression.
Dr Sylvia McLain, University of Oxford
Sylvia McLain is a EPSRC Career Acceleration fellow in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Oxford, where her research is focused on understanding biomolecular association - protein folding, membrane formation and drug-ligand binding interactions - in solution. She has a broad background in the sciences with an undergraduate degree in Zoology, a MSc in Science Education and a PhD in Chemistry - all from the University of Tennessee, USA. Before her current post at Oxford, she was a research fellow in Physics both in the UK and in the USA and then, after a year away from academia, a pharmaceutical sciences research fellow. She also blogs at Occam's Typewriter and occasionally for The Guardian, and has a keen interest in the history and philosophy of science as well as in science and society issues.
Keith Moore, Royal Society Centre for History of Science
Keith Moore is Head Librarian at the Royal Society.
Professor Essi Viding, University College London
Essi Viding did her PhD and post doctoral training at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, under Professors Francesca Happe and Robert Plomin. She is currently Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London and also a Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry: MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. Her research combines different methodologies in an effort to chart different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour.
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