speakers at meetings

JFRUGOLI at bio.tamu.edu JFRUGOLI at bio.tamu.edu
Fri Jul 3 00:37:16 EST 1998

Funny you should ask-

I just came from both the Arabidopsis and Plant Physiology meetings, where I was quite 
encouraged by the number of women speakers (between a third and a half) and the number of 
women session chairs (2 of 5 major symposia at Plant Phys had women organizers, and 6/20 of 
these major talks were given by women).  Interestingly, I thought the age of the organizer 
affected the mix of speakers-older men chose ONLY male speakers, while younger men chose a 
mix.  One of the women, however, chose only male speakers, so I guess there is no real 
correlation.    Things were even better at both the Arabidopsis meeting and the minisymposia 
at Plant Physiology. 

I think this is field dependent-I have heard people say that as long as plant biology was 
considered a backwater (NOT BY ME!) in science, women could excel in plant science.  Now 
that plant science is becoming "hot", the women are already there with labs in place and 
cannot be ignored.  Contrast this to chemistry. The only ACS meeting I went to, I was the 
only women speaker in a three day set of mini-talks, and it wasn't even a "hard chemistry" 
subject.  I gather from what I've heard here and elsewhere that neuroscience can be pretty 
male dominated as well.

I'd be interested in other recent "speaker counts" from national meetings, and if anyone 
sees differences between fields of biological science.
Julia Frugoli
Texas A&M University
Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology
Crop Biotechnology Center
MS# 2123
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-862-4790

"Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom,
which is control.  Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals
mainly with values.  The two are not rivals."
											Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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