Women in Science Print E-mail

Monday 6 September, 18:00 to 19:30 - Room F Level -1


EMBO/FEBS Women in Science Session

Life scientists, both male and female, are invited to join this lively discussion of issues facing women in their life science career choice. Partially funded by L'Oréal Foundation.

The Intelligent Brain: Does Sex Matter?

Gender determines to a large part what the individual can achieve in our society even today. We can observe clear patterns of male and female professions, but the higher echelons of any profession are 90+% male occupied. Is this due to biology or socio-cultural imprinting? Does the male or female brain allow us to perform certain tasks better then others?

The "gender-similarity hypothesis" postulates that measurable differences in cognitive abilities cannot be detected in more career relevant traits such as math and language abilities (Hyde). On the other hand, new brain imaging technologies allow us to observe that male and female brains are different from one another. Men and women of equal intelligence seem to use different areas of their brains to solve a problem. Moreover, the data suggest that the general brain architecture in men and women differs. Do the differences between male and female brains explain the observed behavioural differences?


Richard Haier, University of California, Irvine, US


Professor Haier works with neuroimaging technologies to study individual differences in mental abilities. He will discuss his results on the neural basis of human intelligence and cognition. His talk will be followed by an open discussion.

EMBO is pleased to join with FEBS, the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, to offer this session. Raising awareness of career issues for women scientists is a priority for both organisations. Each year, the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award recognises and rewards the exceptional achievements of a female scientist in life sciences research over the previous five years. Winners of the award are role models who inspire future generations
of women in science.