Calculating a Bias in Neuroscience: Women Asked to Speak

September 5, 2016TrilobitesBy APOORVA MANDAVILLIOne day in August 2015, the Princeton University neuroscientist Yael Niv saw an email notice of a conference on deep brain stimulation, a hot topic in treatment for depression and other mental disorders. Dr. Niv noticed that none of the 21 scientists scheduled to speak were women.This was not the first time Dr. Niv had lamented a skewed lineup.For years, she had tried to persuade other conference organizers, sometimes successfully, to invite more women to speak. But something about this particular conference, perhaps that the organizers were women, pushed her and about 20 other female scientists to take action. Over a series of furious emails that night, they decided that the best approach they could take was scientific: They would collect data — irrefutable evidence —…

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