Case study: COSYNE

COSYNE is the premier conference on Computational Systems Neuroscience. It is a mid-sized conference held annually since 2004.

Below are the statistics for invited speakers at COSYNE since its inception in 2004 (top), as well as for contributed talks (bottom)Basic CMYKBasic CMYK

In 2010 the Computational Systems Neuroscience (COSYNE) conference transitioned from an all-male executive committee and a single (male) program chair, to having two program chairs (one male, one female) who become general chairs on the following year, and since 2014 Anne Churchland has joined the 4-person executive committee. As part of this transition, Anne’s List—a list of women in computational systems neuroscience, that was later expanded to other subareas in neuroscience—was formed. In addition, over the years COSYNE has included a Women at Cosyne luncheon that has garnered very positive feedback from participants.

In the most recent COSYNE conference (2016) there were 17% women in attendance at the main meeting, and 18% at the workshops. Therefore, COSYNE can be seen as a conference where the ratio of women speakers has consistently surpassed the base rate, through deliberate attempts to correct for implicit gender biases.