Thursday, May 21, 2015

Save the Date! EPWS General Assembly 2015


4 November 2015: EPWS General Assembly 2015

The EPWS General Assembly 2015 will take place in Berlin on 4 November 2015 in the afternoon. More information will be announced by the Association and on the EPWS website in due time.

5 November 2015: Conference “Ready for Dialogue”

The conference “Ready for Dialogue” in Berlin on 5 November 2015 aims to contribute to the targeted consideration of the innovative potential of the gender dimension in science and research as well as in research policy through the purposeful linking-up of relevant actors in the field at national and European level.

The event will be organized by the Essen College of Gender Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in close cooperation with the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS as European partner organization. The project “Ready for Dialogue. Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, Germany, under grant number 01FP1456. The conference website and more details on how to register will be announced in due time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

EPWS Vice-President awarded medal of Légion d’Honneur of the Republic of France

On May 20th 2015, in the Elysée Palace, Prof. Claudine Hermann, Vice-president of EPWS, co-founder and President of honor of the French association Femmes &Sciences, was awarded by French Republic President Monsieur François Hollande, during a collective ceremony.

She received the medal and plaque of "Grande- Officière of Légion d’Honneur" (i.e. 4th level in this order), in recognition of her former activities of first woman professor at Ecole Polytechnique and for her current involvement in the women and science issue.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Women in Science - Summer School El Escorial, Spain

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in cooperation with Norwegian and Icelandic institutions, as well as with various Spanish ministries, launches the Summer School entitled "Women in Science. Reflections and experiences from the North and South of Europe and the United States".

The course is organized within the NILS Science and Sustainability programme, funded by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.

The event includes international top experts as Stephanie Bird (MIT, USA), highest level professors from Spain as Margarita Salas, Amelia Valcárcel, Eulalia Pérez Sedeño and others, as well as representatives from Norway and Iceland. It will provide us the opportunity to reflect on the social nature of science, the barriers to the participation, use and production ofscience and technology by women, and to identify good experiencies in order to promote equality in science.

"Women have contributed to science from its beginning, although this has not been fairly acknowledged. From the studies of science, it is widely described the lack of equality among women and men concerning scientific and technological production, as well as the existence of obstacles that are specific to women when accessing relevant positions in the academia, the industry and the administration. Such barriers have led to a deep reflection on the social nature of science and technology and on the strategies in order to overcome this inequality.

This school aims at facing this reflection, as well as at deepening on the situation of women in the science systems in various countries such as Spain, Norway, Iceland and United States. We also aim at identifying best practices on the promotion of scientific entrepreneurship enhancing women’s and men’s initiatives, at knowing the personal experience of researchers face to face, as well as at identifying what is the gender treatment in the main source of funding for science in Europe, the Horizon2020 programme.

The course gathers internationally well known researchers who will talk us about the conclusions of number of studies, approaches and perspectives in Europe and United States of America, as well as about their experience and proposals for a higher equality in this field. The combination of lectures and round tables shall allow participation and exchanges among attendees and speakers. The school is addressed to bachelor and post-degree students in experimental and social sciences, to active researchers and technologues, and to professionals in the administration related to scientific, educational, entrepreneurship and equality policies. We aim at exchanging knowledge and experiences and also at identifying further cooperation opportunities."

Deadline for applying for financial support is May 29

Ready for Dialogue: Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research

"Ready for Dialogue"

Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research

BERLIN, Germany

5th of NOVEMBER 2015

9.00-18.30 hrs 

How can we target and eliminate existing blind spots concerning the importance of sex and gender in science and research? How can the contribution and potential of the gender dimension to scientific excellence and innovation more purposefully be taken into account for the benefit of science and research as well as research policy at national and European level?

The international conference “Ready for Dialogue”, in Berlin, will take these questions as starting point. The conference aims at initiating a strategic dialogue among relevant national and European key players, such as associations, (research) institutions and organizations that work within and outside the university context on the integration of the gender dimension in science and research. The aim is to foster the exchange between “knowledge” and “political action”, to strengthen and expand existing approaches in both areas and to develop a roadmap for the institutionalization of a regular dialogue.

The following topics are scheduled for discussion:

1. The conceptual approach of the strategic gender dimension and its sharpening with respect to strategic gender equality approaches.
2. The challenges with respect to the scientific recognition of the gender dimension in science, research and innovation, particularly within the excellence and innovation debate, but also in terms of discussions on the category ‘Diversity’.
3. The positioning of the strategic approach gender dimension in national and international research policies, such as research funding and targeted research programmes.

This conference addresses representatives of national and European institutional associations (institutions/organizations/networks) committed to the integration of the gender dimension in science and research or having an interest to do so in the future, actors in science and research that have yet to integrate the gender dimension into their scientific approach as well as junior scientists of all disciplines. As part of the event, all attending institutions will have the opportunity to present themselves and their activities in a concomitant poster session. Simultaneous translation into German and English will be provided.

The event will be organized by the Essen College of Gender Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, in close cooperation with the European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS as European partner organization. The project “Ready for Dialogue. Conference on the Gender Dimension in Science and Research” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF, Germany, under grant number 01FP1456. The conference website and more details on how to register will be announced in due time.

Kindly forward this information to interested colleagues and organizations.

Both events take place prior to the European Gender Summit 2015, Berlin, 6-7 November 2015.

Dr Brigitte Mühlenbruch, President, European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS

Dr Maren A. Jochimsen, Managing Director,
Sonja Zurmaar, Project Coordination, Essen College of Gender Research, University of Duisburg-Essen, E-Mail:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Marie Curie and Dorothy Hodgkin documentaries on the BBC Radio 4

On the BBC Radio 4's podcast:  The Curies

"Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the scientific achievements of the Curie family. In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity, a term which Marie coined. Marie went on to win a Nobel in Chemistry eight years later; remarkably, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie would later share a Nobel with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie for their discovery that it was possible to create radioactive materials in the laboratory. The work of the Curies added immensely to our knowledge of fundamental physics and paved the way for modern treatments for cancer and other illnesses."

Also on the BBC Radio 4 : An Eye for Pattern:  The Letters of Dorothy Hodgkin '  by  Georgina Ferry

"The correspondence of Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), broadcast for the first time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964. Her letters, introduced by her biographer Georgina Ferry, reveal a passionate and gentle woman who juggled pioneering research in x-ray crystallography with bringing up three children, while her husband Thomas spent much of his time in Africa.

Dorothy Hodgkin remains the only British woman to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for science. She really ought to be a household name." 

Call for tenders: Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations

The European Institute for Gender Equality recently launched a tender for the project Integrating Gender Equality into Research Performing Organisations. Research, Practices and setting up of an on-line Tool on Gender Equality Plans!

The general objective of the project is to enhance gender equality in the EU policy area of research by providing policy makers with information on implementing gender sensitive policies in research institutions and by supporting research institutions with sound methodological guidelines for mainstreaming gender in administration, achieving structural transformation, including the change of organisational culture.

The specific objective is to develop an online tool for competence development on the implementation of gender equality plans in research institutions. The tool would specifically:

  • Rely on the need to effectively implement EU Directives on gender equality in the labour market in Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) and universities ;

  • Explain the importance of institutional transformation for RPOs and universities as an essential element of gender mainstreaming;

  • Put forward steps for a systematic implementation and monitoring of gender mainstreaming in RPOs and universities;

  • Provide possibilities to improve the knowledge of the management, researchers, academics and human resources staff on tools and methods aimed at mainstreaming gender within their organisations customised to the needs of RPOs and universities. 

Closing date: 18-05-2015
More information here 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fem'Energia 2015 award

Since 2009, Electricité de France, WiN (Women in Nuclear)-France and WiN-Europe have been working closely together to organise a special award, the "Fem'Energia Award", which aims to recognize the exceptional contribution made by female students and professional women to nuclear activities in France and Europe.

If you are a young woman student, in France in a high-school or an university, or a woman working in the nuclear sector in the European Union and Switzerland, apply for the Fem'energia Awards 2015.

The deadline for applying is April the 30th!

Applying form and rules:


More information:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

European Commission's Report on Equality between Women and Men - 2014

"The present report outlines the progress achieved in 2014 in the six priority areas of the Commission’s 2010-15 strategy for equality between women and men. It is a way for the Commission to review EU and Member State action on gender equality and identify remaining challenges and gender gaps, on the basis of updated information and statistics.

It strengthens the EU’s accountability and lays the ground for evidence-based policie. Although gender gaps have narrowed in recent decades, inequalities within and between Member States have grown overall and challenges remain in critical areas:

• gender gaps in employment and decision-making have narrowed in recent years, but women still account for less than a quarter of company board members, despite representing almost half of the employed workforce (46%). Also, the extent of gender equality varies substantially across Member States and has not reached everyone. Deficient work-life balance policies hamper women’s employment and therefore the potential for economic growth;

• progress in closing the gender pay and pension gaps has been frustratingly slow. The former is stagnant at 16% and the latter has reached 39%. Occupational segregation is still widespread and women tend to be concentrated in less well-paid sectors;

• Men drop out of school more often and perform less well in reading. Women are more likely to have a higher education degree but are significantly under-represented in STEM studies and careers, in research and in senior posts at all levels of education, including higher education;

• the prevalence of gender-based violence is still alarmingly high. A third of women in the EU have experienced physical or sexual violence;

• while a few national parliaments and governments are about to reach gender parity, women still account for less than a third of ministers and members of parliaments in the vast majority of Member States. At this rate of change, it would take another 70 years to achieve gender equality. Therefore, active policy initiatives are needed to accelerate progress and meet the expectation of citizens. Nearly all Europeans (94%) agree that equality between women and men is a fundamental right and a large majority of citizens (76%) believe that tackling inequality between women and men should be a priority for the EU."


EU Prize for Women Innovators 2016

"On the occasion of International Women's Day, the European Commission is launching today the third edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators to reward three women who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. The prize aims to raise awareness of the need for more female entrepreneurs and to inspire other women to follow in their footsteps. The first prize is worth €100 000, the second prize €50 000 and third prize €30 000.

The prize is being launched during a working lunch with outstanding women in academia, research, industry and media, hosted by the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas. The event reflects on how to increase the participation of women in research and innovation and their share of top positions in the industry and academia. Participants to the lunch include female rectors, previous winners of the EU Prize for Women Innovators, leaders of EU initiatives on gender equality, as well as both senior and young scientists.

Commissioner Moedas said: "There may have been some improvement in recent years but, in Europe, female researchers and entrepreneurs remain a minority. Whether economically, intellectually or socially, we cannot afford to continue missing out on this vast pool of untapped talent. The EU Prize for Women Innovators recognises women entrepreneurs for their valuable achievements, inspiring both men and women alike."

"Gender equality is not only a moral imperative but it also makes economic sense", said Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. “Diversity is good for innovation and entrepreneurship, because it brings new talent and fresh ideas. The EU Prize for Women Innovators showcases female talent and can encourage other women to pursue careers in science and entrepreneurship where women are still underrepresented."

For more information
Media contact:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Childcare Policies in Science: Euroscientist

EPWS Vice-President Prof. Claudine Hermann has been interviewed for a recent article on Euroscientist - Inadequate Childcare Policies Affect Scientists’ Careers.

The article, by Janna Degener, investigates the difficulties faced by women scientists in balancing their career with raising children, providing a number of examples of European policies that frame this issue.

"The issue is largely a cultural one. “It is not due to science but due to the cultures of the different countries that the problem of childcare is more on the shoulder of women than men. But the role models and the family models are changing slowly and that affects scientists and other high educated women,” says Claudine Hermann , vice-president of the European Platform of Women Scientists, retired professor of physics at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France, with three children. 

Hermann claims that scientific institutions should invest more money to support female and male scientists with children to compensate the fact that the number of scientists with children varies much from country to country."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Breakthrough Prizes: Physics, Life Sciences, Mathematics

The Breakthrough Prizes honor important, primarily recent, achievements in the categories of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics.

The prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang. Committees of previous laureates choose the winners from candidates nominated in a process that’s online and open to the public.

"Knowledge is humanity’s greatest asset. It defines our nature, and it will shape our future. The body of knowledge is assembled over centuries. Yet a single mind can extend it immensely. Einstein reimagined space and time. Darwin distilled the chaos of life to a single idea. Turing figured out what it means to think. Great scientists enrich us all. They enable technologies that ease our lives, but they also show us what’s beyond our horizons."

EPWS on International Innovation

EPWS Vice-President, Prof. Claudine Hermann introduces the Platform on Issue 171 of International Innovation, a leading publication that disseminates research and provides the latest news on funding and policy issues in one easy-to-understand space.

Prof. Hermann discusses EPWS' history, its Members and activities, and the main goals and challenges for the near future.

Read the Full Article on International Innovation



Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg of the Max Planck Society: Call for nominations

The Elisabeth Schiemann Kolleg of the Max Planck Society is calling for nominations of female postdocs, group leaders, junior professors or female scientists working towards their habilitations in chemistry, physics, mathematics,computer science or technical disciplines.

Within the Elisabeth‐Schiemann‐Kolleg, scientific membersof the Max Planck Society foster the careers of excellent female scientists after their postdoc phase, helping them to succeed on their way to a possible appointment as a University Chair or a director at a Max Planck Institute. Additionally, the Kolleg offers a platform for transdisciplinary scientific exchange. Fellows are not supported financially.

All professors and directors of research institutions worldwide can nominate candidates. It does not matter where and how the candidates are employed, only tenured researchers are not eligible.

A complete nomination includes the candidate’s vita and her brief summary of current and future scientific activities, as well as two recommendation letters, by the nominator and by another professor. One of them should come from a German research institution or university.

Deadline for nominations: February 28th, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

iGIANTS - impact of gender/sex on innovation and novel technologies summit

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is launching a new program called iGIANTS which stands for the impact of gender/sex on innovation and novel technologies summit. It will be an opportunity to highlight groups which have made progress in the sex/gender space and to inspire them to serve as ambassadors for their respective sectors to foster more interest and innovation. It is an exciting time to move from the research bench to the bedside, to the design of driver's seats and cockpits to even computer keyboards and sporting equipment. Sex/gender impacts every aspect of our lives.

Thirty years of research reveal that sex and gender bias is socially harmful and expensive. From 1997-2000, 10 drugs were withdrawn from the market in the United States because of life-threatening health effects. Eight out of these 10 drugs posed greater health risks for women than men (GAO, 2001). It costs billions of dollars to bring pharmaceutical agents to market. Additionally, when these drugs fail or have serious side effects, they cause significant suffering and even death. In regard to transportation, "out-of-position" drivers which are often women lead to more injuries in automotive accidents. Understanding how men and women use information technology is also essential to new engineering designs and novel technologies. Sex/gendered innovations stimulate sex/gender-responsible science and technology which enhances the quality of life of men and women globally.


In 2014, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy developed a blueprint for the formation of the iGIANTS to foster innovation and novel technologies through partnerships and outreach with diverse sectors and stakeholders.

Participants: 50-60 representatives from the following sectors will participate in the Summit: transportation, information technology, biotechnology, and retail. Representation from the following stakeholders will be invited: agencies, academia, industry, advocacy, and the White House.

Format: Brief presentations (10 minutes each) from the sectors represented that have achieved significant accomplishments focused on sex/gender. This didactic session will be followed by break-out sessions in which representatives from different sectors will discuss approaches to incorporate sex/gender into their activities. In a closing session with all participants, groups will share outcomes from their respective break-out sessions and stakeholders will present statements of commitment to promote sex/gender-based initiatives.

Co-Hosts: OSTP, the White House Council on Women and Girls, DHHS Office on Women's Health

Location: White House South Conference Center

Time: Summer 2015


 1) Short Term: Raise awareness of the impact of sex and gender in health care and other sectors. An overview of the challenges and barriers as well as the advantages and solutions to accomplish this will be defined. (Pre-summit)

2) Immediate: Statements of commitment for sex/gender-based initiatives to improve the lives of both men and women will be delivered at the the conclusion of the Summit. Representatives will commit to serve as ambassadors for their respective sectors to encourage further collaboration and participation by their peers to promote the impact of sex/gender as a means to advance innovation and novel technologies. (During Summit)

3) Long Term: Demonstration of progress to incorporate sex and gender into innovation and technology to foster improved efficiency in the work place, daily lives, health care and other sectors. For example, new policies, curricula, partnerships, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and devices will be developed. (There will be a summit one year post initial event to showcase accomplishments.)