Neurotrash, Neurosexism, Neuronews – their role in understanding gender differences

What are the differences between female and male brains? Are there any at all?
Do we contribute to “neurotrash” by asking the wrong questions in the wrong way?

gina rippon





There is a long history of debate about biological sex differences and their part in determining gender roles, with the “biology is destiny” argument being used to legitimise imbalances in these roles. This tradition is continuing, with new brain imaging techniques being hailed as sources of evidence of the “essential” differences between men and women.

But there is good research – neuronews – where brain imaging can make positive contributions to the saga by informing the real story. Are there really any differences in male and female brains, how fixed are these differences, can we “better” or “change” our brains?
This talk aims to offer ways of rooting out the neurotrash, stamping out the neurosexism and making way for neuronews.

WHEN: Wed 25th Feb 2015, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
WHERE: Fogg Lecture Theatre, Mile End Campus

Register here

Join us for an open discussion and wine & nibbles!

Gender balance among University Research Fellows- Where are we going wrong?

Last week, the Royal Society published the results of the latest group of researchers to be awarded University Research Fellowships (URF). This award offers stability to early career scientists by giving them 5 years of funding with the possibility to extend for a further 3 years, thereby creating the opportunity for a scientific career which could enable them to become leaders in their field.

Out of the 43 that were successful and awarded the fellowship, only 2 were women. The data published by the Royal Society, showing the number of female applicants awarded the fellowship over the past 4 years can be seen below.
Royal society fellowships history

So where are we going wrong? These statistics are not only very disappointing, they illustrate a confusing trend that once again flags up the “leaky pipeline” in science research. Twitter has been inundated with conversations about these statistics, if you haven’t been following our timeline, have a look for the many comments and join the conversation @WISEQMUL.

The response from the Royal Society came on Friday via Paul Nurse, whereby an investigation has now been launched. Is this drop in numbers of fellowships awarded to women just a fluke, or is it a result of increased Dorothy Hodgkins fellowshops being made available? You can be read the response here.