SEP 12, 2019 1:30 PM PDT

Gender Parity in Virology Conference Speaker Selections

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Roland Rueckert Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Virology, UW-Madison
    Biography
      Ann Palmenberg received her BS degree (Chemistry) from St. Lawrence University in 1970, and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Biochemistry, 1975), working in the laboratory of Paul Kaesberg. She received postdoctoral training with Charles Weissmann (Zurich) and Roland Rueckert (Madison). As the PI of a continuously funded (NIH) independent research program at the UW-Madison since 1978, Ann is now a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Institute for Molecular Virology. Her work on the molecular biology of positive-sense RNA viruses, particularly picornaviruses in the cardiovirus and enterovirus (rhinovirus) genera, has achieved international stature for its breadth and content. She has expertise in computational modeling of protein:protein interactions, bioinformatics (sequence analysis), recombinant protein expression, protein purification, protein detection, enzyme assays (activity and complex formation ),and structural biology (crystallography, NMR, cryoEM). She has published extensively on these topics, both for research and technical audiences. She is an expert in RNA biochemistry, RNA dynamics, and RNA evolution. She teaches virology, bioinformatics and molecular modeling at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

    Abstract

    Scientific conferences are most beneficial to participants when they showcase significant new experimental developments, accurately summarize the current state of the field, and provide strong opportunities for collaborative networking. A top-notch slate of invited speakers, assembled by conference organizers or committees, is key to achieving these goals. The underrepresentation of female speakers at prominent scientific meetings was documented with extensive supportive data in 2017. The purpose of this report is to update those data with recent  trends consequent to that transparency, and to suggest the means to further shift speaker selections towards parity. 

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Become aware that speaker lists covering 35 years of 4 major virology conferences show historical bias against female speaker selections.
    2. Become aware that those same data sets show now how enhanced transparency in selection procedures, can ameliorate  the unconscious bias in meeting organizers that has contributed to those historical trends. 


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