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 Welcome messages

Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Gender Summit 9 Europe speaker

"I welcome the Summit’s objective to discuss how gender continues to be addressed in Horizon 2020, as well as how to further gender mainstreaming in my 3 priority areas of open innovation, open science and open to the world. The future of Europe’s knowledge economy will be entirely dependent on women reaching their full potential in STEM careers. My services have therefore created an Action Plan on Gender Equality in research and innovation, for implementation of the Council Conclusions of 1 December 2015, which addressed gender imbalances in research institutions and decision making.” Commissioner Carlos Moedas, Research, Science and Innovation, European Commission

Dr B. Mario Pinto, Gender Summit 9 Eu speaker "On behalf of Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) I would like to wish all participants in the 9th International Gender Summit a warm welcome. As a life-long researcher and now President of NSERC, I am keenly aware of both the need and the benefits of increased sex and gender equity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Gender Summits have played a significant role in raising awareness of sex and gender inequity, and sharing best practices for its reduction in STEM. I am positive that Gender Summit 9 will continue this excellent work.  Looking ahead, NSERC is very excited to be partnering with the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (FRQNT), to host the 11th International Gender Summit in Montreal. With the Montreal Summit, we will be working to take discussion beyond sex- and gender-based differences to focus on equity and diversity in the broadest sense. In particular, we seek to discuss the broader issues of the effects of culture, religion, ethnicity and gender on participation in the research and innovation workforce.  We include specifically intersectionality as an issue of relevance in all its aspects: indigenous people, disability, sexuality, age, culture, social status etc. Diversity is also linked to interdisciplinarity in research. The Montreal Summit will expand dialogue on STEM to include the social sciences and health research and will address key themes such as global safety, food security, health, big data, and clean technologies, as well as the culture of science promotion. Enjoy the 9th International Gender Summit and we look forward to seeing you in Montreal in November 2017." Prof B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Canada.

 "Dr Julia Taguena, Gender Summit 7 Europe SpeakerAs a Gender Summit supporter and as a representative of the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) I would like to share with you the wonderful experience we had hosting this important event in Mexico City, where we welcomed people from 24 different nations. The GS8 was the first, of hopefully many more editions, adding the Latin American voice and particularly a Mexican perspective to the Gender Summit movement.  Within our theme, 'Science without borders: Improving impact by interlinking gender, geographic, disciplinary and educational dimensions', we addressed issues that affect everyone everywhere, but in many different ways. We must work together to find creative and innovative solutions to our common problems. The Gender Summits gather us to share knowledge and best practices with a gender perspective. 'Conocimiento que transforma' is our motto in CONACYT, and it means that knowledge is powerful tool for transformation. Through science, we can transform our reality and our environment in a way that benefits us all. We are living difficult times that demand more from us. An inclusive science must and can be the answer to many of the challenges that our generation is facing, and will be the only answer to the challenges that will face future generations building a sustainable world.  We send you many regards from this part of the world and wish you the best in GS9Eu!" Prof Julia Taguena, Deputy Director, National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), Mexico.

Rolf Tarrach"Women’s share of PhDs, researchers, full professors and university rectors is in Europe very roughly 50%, 30%, 20% and 10% respectively. With our present level of knowledge it is very difficult, if not impossible to believe that this descending series of figures has a rational justification, that they reflect women´s increasing lack of merit, skills, competence or performance when the upper echelons of academia and research are approached. So they must be due to gender bias, be it conscious are unconscious. A 5% handicap in each submission of a research project leads to an 80% cumulated handicap after 30 submissions, a figure typical of a researcher’s life. This assumption, which is supported by some data, could easily explain the above series of percentages. But if we want to efficiently fight the bias we have to understand where it comes from." Prof Rolf Tarrach, President, European Universities Association (EUA). Read Rolf's full essay.

Prof Rolf Tarrach, President, European Universities Association (EUA)Rolf Tarrach

"Women’s share of PhDs, researchers, full professors and university rectors is in Europe very roughly 50%, 30%, 20% and 10% respectively. With our present level of knowledge it is very difficult, if not impossible to believe that this descending series of figures has a rational justification, that they reflect women´s increasing lack of merit, skills, competence or performance when the upper echelons of academia and research are approached. So they must be due to gender bias, be it conscious are unconscious. A 5% handicap in each submission of a research project leads to an 80% cumulated handicap after 30 submissions, a figure typical of a researcher’s life. This assumption, which is supported by some data, could easily explain the above series of percentages. But if we want to efficiently fight the bias we have to understand where it comes from.

In prehistoric times physical strength was one of the foremost conditions for successful survival. Physical strength leads to fight, violence, war, submission, hierarchy, a way of eventually organizing society. Some will say that it has served us well, some will say that a more peaceful society might have been a better choice, but the truth is that being a counterfactual situation we just cannot know. But what we know is that physical strength has put women in a disadvantaged situation. This is seen even today, when strength is not a relevant factor for success anymore, in our modern advanced societies and much more so in the others, where women are still in a clear minority in all positions that really matter, that hold real power. Some people, some of them very learned, try to explain this situation of women as a consequence of lesser intellectual or cognitive capabilities, sometimes even giving pseudoscientific reasons for it. They remind me of a sentence of a Nobel Prize in Physics, “you have to be very learned to be that wrong”. Disentangling thousands of years of interplay of nature and nurture in the development of women and men in our civilisations is sheer impossible with the scientific data we have today at our disposal, and might well be impossible in any foreseeable future, so that the most reasonable scientific assumption is the one of basic equality of capabilities, which does not mean that men and women are equally endowed for all and sundry activities.

The situation of women in our western societies has improved a lot in recent times. It is only a few generations ago that in many European countries women could not vote, could not open a bank account on their own, could not inherit or bequeath, could not do many things men could do, so that some believe that this progress in putting women on equal footing with men has been substantial and will reach its final and satisfactory goal in a few generations. Others believe that it is too slow, that it is flattening off too quickly for really reaching the asymptote of man-woman equality of opportunities and realizations. Again, this is a subject of opinion, too difficult for a serious and solid scientific and critical analysis that would allow a relatively safe forecast, so that ideology mainly determines our opinion. This is in fact the drama of this whole subject, that being so difficult to be analysed by solid scientific methods it is often dominated by ideology-laden approaches. It would however seem convincing, hopefully to everybody, that we should go on making efforts, wherever and whenever we can, for making this goal of fair treatment as soon as possible a reality.

The great monotheistic religions still play a major role in European and American societies, and it might well be that the increasingly swift developments in biotechnology, like gene editing, in nanotechnology, like the development of nano-robots, in artificial intelligence, like deep machine learning, and in countless other fields of knowledge will make the world so difficult to understand for many, that they will continue seeking refuge and consolation in religions, beyond the venerable old reason of accepting death more easily. So religions are very likely here to stay in important parts of our societies.

But our religions are notoriously and deeply female-phobic, although some are less so than in previous times. About Judaism, arguably not the most extreme religion, Christopher Hitchens writes in his little book “Mortality”, written as a farewell shortly before his death, “Thus the Jewish male begins each day by thanking god for not making him into a woman (or a Gentile), while the Jewish woman contents herself with thanking the almighty for creating her ‘as she is’”. The old Christian debate on how many days the soul enters the male embryo earlier than the female, although considered by most today as patently ludicrous, shows the same historic bias against women. I do not consider it necessary to give an example of unfair treatment of women by Islam. In any case, women cannot be Popes, cardinals, rabbis, imams or califs.

Women are legally, in most if not all of our Western societies equal to men, but the reality is still different, in spite of the fact that physical strength does not play any role anymore. So the problem lies in our culture, our upbringing, our traditions, and in the scaffold of all this, our religions. One cannot imagine, even in one´s wildest dreams, a society which truly offers a genuinely level playing to women, when at the same time religions, as they still are today, play a major role in this society, as they still do today. Since the relevance of religions is very likely here to stay, the only possibility is to push them to interpret their texts in such a way that women be considered exactly as men are, in fact by just never mentioning anywhere the word “woman” as they do in distinction to “man”, only es equal to man. If the great monotheistic religions are able to do that, great, if not, they are incompatible with one of the main tenets of our democratic systems, the equality of man and woman, and democracies should take note and act in consequence.

Once gender-fairness is achieved we will be able to turn to other, objectively more difficult issues, which, incidentally, might turn out to be easier to be handled in this new, less aggressive, more inclusive society.

Rolf Tarrach

President, EUA

26/08/16

Prof Tarrach was a member of the Science Leaders Panel which worked on the genSET project in 2009-2011. The Gender Summits were created as part of this project on the recommendations of their work. Rolf, along with other members of the panel, have been longstanding supporters of the Gender Summit mission.

“The Gender Summit is really unique— it's a critical catalyzer.  It informs new policies and funding frameworks while bringing together interdisciplinary thought leaders to bridge issues of research, policy and implementation. Elsevier has been very proud to be a part of this dialogue from the beginning... I believe we have the Gender Summits to thank for mainstreaming an understanding of how gender dimension leads to more robust research…In short, the title of the Summit says it all … and we are proud to be a part of this important convening.”
Ylann Schemm, Elsevier Foundation Program Director, GS Sponsor

At the heart of Gender Summit is a growing global community of experts and practitioners from a wide range of different fields. They recognise the intellectual importance and practical benefits of understanding when, why, and how sex and gender differences can determine the quality of research, innovation and development outcomes. As a sponsor, you will be joining this community. You will help shape this knowledge and its applications. We are currently looking for GS9 sponsors. Sponsors can be from among organisations that operate in research and innovation-intensive sectors, but also from among those that are funding development measures that rely on science knowledge and technological advances.

One way that sponsors can help is to support the regional Gender Summit events. At the regional Gender Summits (now in Europe, North-America, Latin-America, Asia-Pacific and Africa), scientists, policy makers, gender scholars and stakeholders in science endeavours examine the latest scientific evidence. We do this to establish a consensus on where improvements are needed, and what actions, taken by whom can deliver real change.

The Gender Summit events are not-for-profit and have the goal of being as inclusive as possible. Sponsors help us keep the costs of attending events to a minimum. This enables participants from lower-income countries or those with limited access to a travel budget to still attend. To achieve this, we need your help.

We have a range of packages available or can tailor something to your organisation's profile. If you would like to support the forthcoming Gender Summit 9 and help us deliver our mission, contact us via team@gender-summit.com.

Sponsors can also help by supporting the activities carried out by the members of the Gender Summit community that take place in-between the Gender Summit events. For example, their expertise or experience can be utilised to inform and implement policy agendas such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

By becoming a sponsor, you will be joining our eminent sponsors this year:

Gender Summit 9 Partner, ElsevierElsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

Elsevier Foundation, Gender Summit 4 Europe partnerOver the past decade, the Elsevier Foundation has awarded over a 100 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations focusing on the world’s libraries, nurse faculties and women scholars during their early and mid-careers. Funded by Elsevier, a leading scientific, technical and medical information solutions provider, the Elsevier Foundation contributes over $1 million USD a year to partnerships improving health information, research in developing countries, diversity in STM, and nursing education. Read about our new 2016 programs.

NordForsk, Gender Summit 9 PartnerNordForsk is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers that provides funding for and facilitates Nordic cooperation on research and research infrastructure. NordForsk seeks to enhance the quality, impact and efficiency of Nordic research cooperation, thereby helping the Nordic region to become a world leader in research and innovation.

Organisations attending GS9 Eu include:

Organisations that may be invited to be GS9 partners come from research and innovation-intensive sectors with a demonstrable commitment to advancing gender equality in science and to promoting science as a driver for socioeconomic advancement.  Contact us about partnership.

Partners
Gender Summit 9 Partner, ElsevierElsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.
Elsevier Foundation, Gender Summit 4 Europe partnerOver the past decade, the Elsevier Foundation has awarded over a 100 grants worth millions of dollars to non-profit organizations focusing on the world’s libraries, nurse faculties and women scholars during their early and mid-careers. Funded by Elsevier, a leading scientific, technical and medical information solutions provider, the Elsevier Foundation contributes over $1 million USD a year to partnerships improving health information, research in developing countries, diversity in STM, and nursing education. Read about our new 2016 programs.
NordForsk, Gender Summit 9 PartnerNordForsk is an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers that provides funding for and facilitates Nordic cooperation on research and research infrastructure. NordForsk seeks to enhance the quality, impact and efficiency of Nordic research cooperation, thereby helping the Nordic region to become a world leader in research and innovation.
Portia Ltd UK, Gender Summit 9 Europe partnerPortia Ltd (co-founders of the Gender Summits) designs and implements effective, evidence-based strategies for advancing quality of research and innovation through gender. Our work covers gender equality issues in STEM and gender dimension in the content, process, and impact of science (STEM) endeavours. We work through national and international partnerships, involving scientific community, industry, policy makers and gender research scholars, to enhance science knowledge making; improve institutional practices and process; promote human capital; and ensure compliance with regulation. We believe firmly in putting the views and needs of science at the centre of the gender equality debate in science, and as a key to achieving sustainable economic growth and promoting Europe’s role as a global R&D leader. Portia co-founded the Gender Summits in 2011 as part of a project we co-ordinated, genSET.

DaVinci Institute, Gender Summit 9 Europe partnerThe DaVinci Institute is a think tank and consultancy specialising in collaborations for smart, creative & sustainable innovation. We act as a facilitator for innovative, trans-disciplinary activities in the field of research, culture and policy that aim to effectively address societal challenges. As a think tank, the DaVinci Institute initiates discussions, engages in conversations and curates information on innovation-focussed collaboration. Through its network of experts, the DaVinci Institute supports European organisations, projects and collaborations through tailored management, training and dissemination services.

Collaborating projects
Chwarae Teg logo GENERA logo GenPORT, Gender Summit 9 Supporting organisation genderinsite
Supporting Organisations
FundaMentalSDG GISTeR, GS9Eu supporting organisation  The George Institute for Global Health logo Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Gender Summit Europe supporting organisation
Kingston Business School logo, Gender Summit 9 Europe supporting organisation LIBRA, Gender Summit 9 Europe supporting organisation NRF LOGO new UNESCO Natural Scieinces Sector, Gender Summit 9 supporting organisation
NSERC, Gender Summit 9 Supporter
 The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Gender Summit 9 Supporting organisation
 
Science Metrix, GS9Eu supporting organisations SFI, Gender Summit 9 Eu supporting organisation
Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research logo, Gender Summit 9 Europe supporting organisation

Ventenskapsradet, GS9Eu supporting organisation

 
       
 
Media Partners
Pan European Networks, Gender Summit media partnerHaving accumulated vast experience over many years, the team at Pan European Networks are devoted to providing the most relevant and up to date information for the use of not only the European Commission, but all government agencies and departments across the continent of Europe. Whether it is from a scientific, educational or groundbreaking news perspective, our goal is to make sure that both the public and private sectors have the ability to communicate at the same level. Our publications will give opportunity to some of the leading figures from across Europe to discuss current and future projects, policy change and problematic issues within science, technology, education, health, defence and wider governance. It is not only the European Commission or the government agencies and departments of European nation states that need to communicate; it is also at ground level in science and academia where vital dialogues take place. This is the only way Europe can exist on a functional level and is why we will gather the key interviews and articles from the most important people in their fields, whether they be EU Commissioners, national leaders or Nobel Prize winners, to help you stay informed and stay in front.  
EU Agenda, Gender Summit 9 Europe media partnerEU Agenda is the hub for all things EU. We select the best events, videos, and policy resources so that you can enjoy valuable content, learn about policy, and know the goings-on in Brussels, in Europe and the world. We provide an in-depth perspective on the thinking of EU policymakers, the policy developments taking place every day, and the events where you can contribute, learn, and expand your network.  We do that by blending technology and selected content to deliver new, effective ways to facilitate social dialogue and promote progress. Our platform will enable you to discover the events where relevant EU actors are speaking, hear from the people who are making an impact and meet the leaders who are making Europe great.  

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