Some observations from a conference

Recently, I went to a certain conference in a certain European country. I made some observations there:

At this conference (and representative for this field as a whole) the percentage of women was somewhere around 60-70% I think (I don't have the exact numbers but this was my guesstimate). When examining the gender ratio of the main speakers, the women:men ratio was 4:27.

There were 4 prizes that were awarded during the meeting for various accomplishments. Here the women:men ratio was 0:4. Is this because women don't get nominated? Or do the men ask people to nominate them?

When you have moved to industry some people are very interested to hear about that, and others don't even seem to notice you anymore.


When talking to people from my generation of PhD students and those slightly older than me, it struck me how most people were very much struggling for grant money, and in a position that no grant money means no job (senior post-doc, research associate, etc). Multiple people told me that they were going to give it one last try and then perhaps move on to something outside academia. These are people that on paper have all the things necessary to be successful. It's almost like there is no money. Or is it because a very small group of people get all the money? (link is in Dutch, but contains a very nice visual at the bottom showing the distribution of grant money)

Also at this meeting: awesome science, nice and helpful people and seeing old friends.

One response so far

  • genomicrepairman says:

    We are currently working with a PI whose lab is faltering and is in the process of leaving academic science. We are going to pick up the project and frankly its makes me feel even if unintentionally, like a carrion feeder.

    By the way have women not been historically recipients of the awards at the meeting or was this an "off year"?

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