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Conversation boosts women’s participation at scientific meetings, Stanford study finds

A photo taken from behind of an audience sitting with a presenter at the front of the room. In the foreground, a female raises her hand
Image credit: Getty Images
Jun 27 2019
Fellow, Research, Stanford

Recently, some prominent men in science have publicly declared they wouldn’t attend scientific meetings that don’t adequately represent women, but a new study suggests the problem isn’t just representation – women also don’t participate at the same level as men, even when they are well represented.

A Stanford-led study published June 27 in the American Journal of Human Genetics reports that women asked questions at a level that fell well below their level of representation at two national genetics meetings over the course of four years.

But when the two graduate students who led the study drew attention to the problem during one of the meetings – a move that generated intense conversation among attendees – questions from women picked up.

Study co-lead Natalie Telis is a 2013 Hewlett-Packard Stanford Graduate Fellow

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