From my corona-confinement in the middle of France’s lockdown, and for the next issue of Dianoia, I would like to share with all readers of Dianoia my impressions of the final meeting of the “Gender Gap in Science” project, which took place in the premises of the ICTP in Trieste, on 4-7 November, 2019.
This two years’ project, to which ICIAM participated with funds and some members’ participation in meetings and workshops, was designed to measure the Gender Gap in Science, not only in Mathematics, and to propose ways to get out of it.
There were three main tasks in the project: (1) a big, global, survey; (2) A joint data-backed study of publication patterns; and lastly, (3) the creation of a database of good practices all around the world.
The meeting was attended by about 120 persons from all the continents, maybe more than that, and that included not only old people like me, but also young participants, mainly from developing countries. There was a lot of enthusiasm among the participants, about the project, but above all, about future plans to diminish the gap.
During the meeting there were of course presentations of the three main tasks, showing that the amount of work done has been huge, and that interesting data has been gathered and analyzed. The book containing all data and comments and analysis can be found at the address https://zenodo.org/record/3697223, while a summary of the results of the project and the full list of its recommendations can be found here: https://gender-gap-in-science.org/promotional-materials/. But apart from those presentations, many participants spoke about interesting experiences having taken place in their countries. Also some round tables allowed people from different countries, cultures, scientific fields and age to interact and exchange ideas and possible projects. There was also a poster session, where each union or society participating in the project and some interesting related projects could present themselves. In the picture attached to this article you can see the ICIAM person responsible for this project, Jean Taylor, and the past-president, Maria J. Esteban, in front of the ICIAM poster.
I was excited to see the results. I was also very excited to listen to participants who described very innovative experiences in their universities or institutions to increase the number of women, both as staff, professors, students, etc. Of course, there is no general recipe to do this, but listening to others one can get ideas about our possible actions.
I really encourage you to have a look at the results, or at least at the summary of this project, and disseminate it in your societies, in your departments, around you. Valuable data is now already available. Despite the fact that the project has finished, there are plans to continue working for at least one year in order to make available the survey’s result and the bibliographical data to all in an interactive way. For instance in Trieste we were able to experiment with some tools that allow one to understand the situation of many scientific (and in particular mathematical) journals concerning gender. All that will soon be made available broadly.
ICIAM and Dianoia will continue to inform its members and readers about where to find the new data and those interactive tools. Also, they will relay information about possible access to the survey data, country by country, scientific field by scientific field, which is expected to be available in the coming months. These publications may be delayed owing to the coronavirus crisis ... but they will appear.