We are pleased that the BBC is hosting the event “100 women” today,
featuring discussion and debate with women from all over the world and
all walks of life. It is a shame, however,
that the event does not include a single representative from the world
of science. The encouragement of girls to study science at school and
pursue exciting and fulfilling careers is widely recognised as an
essential ingredient to a balanced world, which ultimately
benefits economic growth. Maybe the BBC could also ask women scientists
to share their goals and dreams with others?
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, University College London; Ian Blatchford,
Director, Science Museum Group; Professor David Delpy, CEO, EPSRC;
Professor Maggie Dallman, Dean of Faculty
of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London; Professor Anne Dell, CBE,
FRS, FMedSci, Dept Life Sciences, Imperial College London; Sarah
Dickinson, Athena SWAN Manager, Equality Challenge Unit; Professor Dame
Athene Donald, FRS, Gender Equality Champion, University
of Cambridge; Professor Mark Downs, President of the Society of
Biology; Professor Daan Frenkel, Head of the Dept of Chemistry,
University of Cambridge; Professor Brian Fulton, University of York and
Chair IoP Juno Committee; Professor Valerie Gibson, Head
of High Energy Physics, University of Cambridge; Dr Vladimir Gligorov,
Physicist, CERN; Professor Dorothy Griffiths, OBE, FCGI, FRSA, Imperial
College Business School; Professor Joanna Haigh, Head of Department
Physics, Imperial College London; Professor Paul
Harvey ,CBE, FRS, Dept of Zoology, University of Oxford; Roger
Highfield, Director External Affairs, Science Museum Group; Professor
Debra Humphris, Vice Provost Education, Imperial College London; Sir
Peter Knight, FRS, Imperial College London; Professor
Ursula Martin, CBE, Professor of Computer Science, Queen Mary
University of London; Professor Andy Parker, Head of the Cavendish
Laboratory, University of Cambridge; Professor Martyn Poliakoff, CBE,
FRS, Vice president, The Royal Society; Professor Nancy Rothwell,
FRS, FSB, FMedSci, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of
Manchester; Professor Tara Shears, Professor of Physics, University of
Liverpool; Professor Jeremy Sanders, FRS, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for
Institutional Affairs, University of Cambridge; Professor
James Stirling, CBE, FRS, Provost, Imperial College London; Jo
Quinton-Tulloch, Director, National Media Museum; Professor Paul Walton,
Dept of Chemistry, University of York; Professor Lesley Yellowlees,
President of the Royal Society of Chemistry
group of professors has attacked the BBC for failing to include a
single scientist in its 100 Women list, a selection of influential
females from around the world.
a letter to The Times, the academics accused the corporation of
reinforcing stereotypes around female careers by not inviting any
scientific researchers to its event today.
Athene Donald, Gender Equality Champion at the University of Cambridge
and one of the signatories, welcomed the celebration of female careers,
but said: “Despite the many notable
examples of brilliant female scientists from around the world, their
complete omission from the list yet again reinforces old-fashioned
stereotypes of ‘suitable’ careers for women, giving a subliminal but
damaging message to young girls considering their future
BBC said that those selected to speak at the meeting at Broadcasting
House represent a cross-section of grassroots trail-blazers and
high-profile women in all spheres of life.
spokeswoman said: “The 100 women conference does feature women from the
world of science, with attendees such as Claire Bertschinger, Director
of Tropical Nursing Studies at the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Russian-Finnish-Indian
engineer Irina Chakraborty; and technology entrepreneur Martha
The event, which will be streamed live on the BBC website, also includes a discussion about women in science and technology.
Dame Athene said that a recent list compiled by The Guardian on
the 100 most influential bisexual, gay and lesbian people included six
DJs, but also failed to include any scientists.
“It is high time for opinion formers to catch up with the world as it
really is and present a better balanced view of what women can and do
accomplish in order to inspire future generations,” she said.
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a neuroscientist at University College London
who also signed the letter, said: “It always surprises me to discover
that children and young people still
often assume that scientists are men. The stereotype persists despite
the fact that many scientists are women.”
signatories include Professor Lesley Yellowlees, President of the Royal
Society of Chemistry, Sir Peter Knight, president of the Institute of
Physics and Ian Blatchford, Director
of the Science Museum Group.
Val Gibson, a professor of high energy physics at the University of Cambridge, who coordinated the letter, said:
scientists are a driving force behind scientific discoveries, which
ultimately inform their applications in many walks of life. Although the
BBC will host women in the “100 women”
event who represent the applications of science , it will totally
neglect the very large community that conduct the underlying research.”
The inaugural Flux Congress will act as a forum for developmental cognitive neuroscientists to share their findings, expand their approaches, and be informed of translational approaches. This conference is designed for scientists who use neuroimaging techniques to understand age related changes in brain function and structure.
The conference will take place September 19-21, 2013 in Pittsburgh, USA.
A fond farewell to Emma Kilford, who is starting a PhD in Mental Health at UCL, Narges Bazargani, who is starting a PhD in Neuroscience at UCL, and Iroise Dumontheil, who is taking up a lectureship at Birkbeck College, London.
The best of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas 2011 - featuring debates, in-depth interviews and stimulating conversation with thinkers, scientists, politicians and public figures, all recorded in front of an audience. Free Thinking is broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Mon - Friday at 10pm
Thu, 24 Nov 11
Duration: 45 mins
Neuro-scientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore gives a talk on changes in the teenage brain. Teenagers often act on impulse, are lazy, emotional and get into trouble with the police and parents. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and a leading expert on teenage brains. Using recent research about the radical changes taking place in the adolescent brain, she argues it's time to rethink our attitudes towards youth and the place of teenagers in society.
Sophie Scott and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore spoke about mind myths on All in the Mind on BBC Radio 4 on 8th November.
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore spoke about the teenage brain at the BBC Free Thinking Festival on 5th November. The talk will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 10pm on 23rd November 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0144txn
Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience)
The brain has evolved to understand and interact with other people. We are increasingly learning more about the neurophysiological basis of social cognition and what is known as the social brain. In this talk I will focus on how the social brain develops during adolescence. Adolescence is a time characterised by change - hormonally, physically, psychologically and socially. Yet until recently this period of life was neglected by cognitive neuroscience. In the past decade, research has shown that the social brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence.
The journal will publish theoretical and research papers on
cognitive brain development, from infancy through childhood and
adolescence to old age. It will cover neurocognitive development and
neurocognitive processing in both typical and atypical development,
including social and affective aspects. Appropriate methodologies for
the journal will include, but are not limited to, functional
neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG), electrophysiology (EEG and ERP), NIRS and
transcranial magnetic stimulation, as well as other neuroscience
approaches which are applied in animal studies, patient studies, case
studies, post-mortem studies and pharmacological studies.
Neuroscience is the study of the human brain and nervous system in health and disease, bringing together many disciplines and technologies. It is one of the fastest growing areas of the biosciences, researching the most complex structure in the known universe.
Especially for this event Steven Rose, Emeritus Professor at the Open University, has released an updated paper: Prospects and Perils of the New Brain Sciences: a twenty year timescale. He will discuss several areas where the application of neuroscience will raise complex ethical, legal and social issues in the coming years, including: greater use of neuroscientific evidence in legal proceedings; increased use of brain imaging techniques for diagnostic and prognostic purposes, and for surveillance; increased use of ‘predictive’ genetic testing for neurological and psychiatric disorders; and new military technologies enabled by neuroscience.
Greater knowledge of how the brain learns will also have a profound impact on education. Understanding the brain mechanisms that underlie learning and memory, and the effects of genetics, the environment, emotion and age on learning could transform educational strategies and help optimise learning for people of all ages and needs. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Royal Society University Research Fellow and Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, will describe some of the implications of neuroscience for education. Her examples will focus on the development of the human brain and its plasticity, that is, its capacity to adapt continually to changing circumstances.
We hope you can join us for this timely and important discussion. If you would like to attend this free event, please email@example.com with your name, job title and place of work, clearly stating which event you would like to attend. Please forward this invitation to any colleagues who may be interested.
Registration will be open from 17:30 – 18:00, the discussion will run from 18:00 – 19:20 and will be followed by a drinks reception.
Edited by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University College London), Ronald E. Dahl (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), Uta Frith (University College London) and Daniel S. Pine (NIMH). The journal will publish theoretical and research papers on cognitive brain development, from infancy through childhood and adolescence to old age. It will cover neurocognitive development and neurocognitive processing in both typical and atypical development, including social and affective aspects. Appropriate methodologies for the journal will include, but are not limited to, functional neuroimaging (fMRI and MEG), electrophysiology (EEG and ERP), NIRS and transcranial magnetic stimulation, as well as other neuroscience approaches which are applied in animal studies, patient studies, case studies, post-mortem studies and pharmacological studies. Authors will be able to submit papers for review from early 2010.