Fifth Biennial Conference On Resting State Brain Connectivity 2016

Fifth Biennial Conference On Resting State Brain Connectivity 2016

Organizers: Christian Windischberger, Claus Lamm, Rupert Lanzenberger, Bharat Biswal, Mark Lowe, Christopher Pawela, Martin Walter, and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli
Main conference + pre-conference education workshop + satellite symposia: 26 Women: 91 Men (22.2%)
Main conference gender ratio:  12 Women :  47 Men (20.3%)

Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 37%

*Method of estimation: given the meeting’s neuroimaging focus we used previous estimates based on an NIH RePORTER search with the terms “(fMRI or MRI or EEG or MEG or ECOG or TMS) and neuro*”

BioMag 2016

20th International Conference on Biomagnetism (BioMag2016)

General Chairs: Chun Kee Chung and Yong-Ho Lee
Sponsors: see here
Total ratio: 36 Women : 178 Men (16%)
Keynote Speakers: 0 Women : 5 Men (0%)
Scientific Committee: 1 woman : 25 men (4%)
Symposia Organizers: 7 Women : 35 Men (17%)
Symposia Speakers: 28 Women : 113 Men (20%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 37%

*Method of estimation: given the broad reach of the meeting, we searched NIH RePORTER with the terms “(fMRI or MRI or EEG or MEG or ECOG or TMS) and neuro*” and counted the number of women among unique PIs on pages 3, 21, 47 and 65.

2nd International Brain Stimulation Conference

2nd International Brain Stimulation Conference

Chairs: Mark S. George and Harold A. Sackeim
Sponsors: Elsevier, and the Journal Brain Stimulation
Invited speaker gender ratio: 0 Women : 10 Men (0%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 34%

*Method of estimation: The conference is aimed at psychiatrists, engineers, cognitive scientists, neurosurgeons, physicists, and everything in between. Nevertheless, for lack of a better source for base rates in the medical profession and in engineering, we searched NIH RePORTER with keywords “brain” AND “stimulation” and counted the ratio of women among the unique researchers in pages 20, 30 and 40 of 66 results pages.

Memory mechanisms in health and disease

Memory mechanisms in health and disease

Organizers: Karl-Peter Giese and Satoshi Kida
Funders: Brain Research Bulletin, NeuroImmunology and Inflammation
Invited speaker gender ratio: 2 Women : 15 Men (12%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 42%

*Method of estimation: we searched NIH RePORTER with the terms “memory” AND “mechanism” and counted the proportion of women among unique PIs on pages 20, 30, 40 and 50 of the 68 pages of results.

Information, Control, and Learning

Information, Control, and Learning: The Ingredients of Intelligent Behavior

Organizers: Naftali Tishby, Yair Weiss and Israel Nelken
Invited speaker gender ratio: 4 Women : 18 Men (18%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 46%

*Method of estimation: we searched NIH RePORTER with keywords “information” AND “control” AND “learning” AND “behavior” and counted the number of women among the unique researchers in pages 5, 10 and 15 of the 17 pages of results.

No prize-worthy women?

Not only conferences, but many prize committees suffer from the same unintentional biases, awarding women with fewer than 10% (and sometimes 0%) of awards. Here are a few examples:

Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience – Awarded since 2008, to 8 men, no women (current selection committee: 7 men, 1 woman)

The Brain Prize – Awarded since 2011, to 19 men and 2 women (current selection committee: 6 men, 3 women)

Koetser Award – Awarded by the Betty & David Koetser Foundation for Brain Research since 2006, to 11 men and 1 woman, jointly awarded with her husband (selection committee not publicly available)

This lack of women recipients is not due to lack of women engaged in prize-worthy cutting-edge neuroscience research, as apparent from prizes that are awarded to women proportionally to their base-rate in science:

Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience – Awarded since 2004, to 10 men and 4 women (current selection committee: 4 men, 2 women)

Base rate of women researchers in neuroscience: 24% as estimated by the percentage of women faculty in top neuroscience programs in USA

Base rate of women researchers in computational neuroscience: 17-18% as estimated from the percentage of women attendees at COSYNE

15th Brain Connectivity Workshop

15th Brain Connectivity Workshop

Organizers: Viktor Jirsa (Scientific Organizer), Demian Battaglia, Christian Bénar, Mirerille Bonnard, Andrea Brovelli, Monique Esclapez, Maxime Guye, Ingo Bojak (local scientific committee)
Funders: see here
Invited speaker gender ratio: 1 Woman : 19 Men (5%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 40%

*Method of estimation: NIH RePORTER with text keyword “brain connectivity” and count the proportion of women among unique PIs on pages 1 & 4 of the 6 pages of results.

Symposia on Memory

Symposia on Memory

Organizers: Nicolas Brunel, Sandro Romani & Alex Roxin
Funded by: Simons Foundation, HHMI Janelia Research Campus
Invited speaker gender ratio: 2 Women : 23 Men (8%)
Estimated* base rate of females in the field: 34%

*Method of estimation: Since the website says that “topics include: spatial memory, biophysical models of synaptic plasticity” we searched NIH RePORTER with text keywords “memory” AND (“spatial memory” OR “biophysical models” OR “synaptic plasticity”) and counted the proportion of women among unique PIs on pages 5, 10, 15 & 25 of the 35 pages of results.

International Summer School on Maps in the Brain

International Summer School on Maps in the Brain

Organizers: Charl Linssen and Tansu Celikel
Invited speaker gender ratio: 0 Women : 10 Men (0%)
Estimated* base rate of women in the field: 34%

*Method of estimation: Since the course is advertised as bringing together “the world’s leading scientists in spatial, cognitive and functional maps”, we searched NIH RePORTER with text keywords (“spatial” OR “cognitive” OR “functional”) AND “map” AND (“neuroscience” OR “brain”), and counted the number of women PI’s in pages 6 & 18 of the 24 pages of results