So I got this email this morning inviting me to attend a conference: the Second Annual Human Microbiome Congress in San Diego. (also called the North American Microbiome Congress).
And it struck me that all the featured speakers were men.
Great. So I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, hoping that maybe if I looked at the rest of the speakers it would be better.
So I had to register on some web site to download the full agenda for the meeting. And there were the featured speakers, rippling with diversity
So then I went to scroll through the document looking for the other speakers.
OMFG – what a joke.
27 speakers featured. 25 of them male. That comes to a whopping 93% male lineup. In a field where there are a massive number of well known, well regarded female researchers. What a f$&(#()@ joke. This meeting should be boycotted. I am going to write to all the speakers I know and ask them to cancel participating.
Update 10/6 1 PM
Got an email from a meeting representative asking me what I thought about the program. I guess I got this because of my signing up to get the program.
And I wrote back
I guess we will see where this goes.
Update 10/6 1:10 PM
I also have begin writing to people I know who are speaking at the meeting.
I am hoping many of them cancel participating. I will update when I get more answers but so far the two people who have responded have now withdrawn from the meeting.
The meeting organizers have responded and appear committed to improving / fixing their diversity issue. See comments here and also the meeting web site.
That’s the good news.
Now the bad news. A commenter pointed me to the same Group’s European Microbiome Congress. It is a bit better than the US one but not much.
I think this group needs to make a broader statement about diversity than just focusing on one meeting.
For other posts on STEM Diversity see here.