Case study: Bernstein Conferences

The Bernstein Conference, held annually since 2005, is described as “the largest annual Computational Neuroscience conference in Europe, attracting an international audience from around the world”. In some ways comparable to the US-based Computational Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) conference, it is relevant to compare the representation of women in both.

We collected information from past conferences, to the extent that these were available online. From 2009-2015, all program chairs of the conference were men. Invited speakers were also predominantly men, bar a few exceptions, as can be seen in the graph below Basic CMYK

when taking into account contributed talks, the representation of women is slightly improved, but still on average below the estimated base rate of women in computational neuroscience which is, at worst, 17%Basic CMYK

Here is a document written by European women scientists with ideas on how to increase the representation of women in the Bernstein conferences. Other resources and suggestions can be found here.

Finally, we are happy to report that since these numbers were compiled, the 2016 Bernstein Conference was announced, with 42% women among the invited speakers. May this be the first of many.