YAMMGM – yet another mostly male genomics meeting (series): Plant Genomic Congresses by Global Engage

Just got invited to the “Plant Genomics Congress Asia” meeting. As usual, the first thing I look at now is gender ratio.  From their web site I got a list of their speakers (so far) and their advisory board.  I highlighted in Yellow ones I am inferring are male and in green ones I am inferring are female.  For the meeting the ratio so far is 17:4 male to female.  Not the worst I have seen but still pretty bad.  Though if you look at their advisory board at least the ratio for the speakers is better — it is 17:0 for the Advisory Board.

  1. John Manners, Chief, CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia 
  2. Dave Edwards, Principal Research Fellow, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia 
  3. Nagendra Singh National Professor-BP Pal Chair, National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India 
  4. Han Zhao, Professor of Biology and Biotechnology, Institute of Biotechnology Jiangsu, Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China 
  5. Huaan Yang, Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA), Australia 
  6. Rajeev K. Varshney, Principal Scientist (Applied Genomics) & Director, Centre of Excellence in Genomics, ICRISAT, India 
  7. Apichart Vanavichit, Professor, The Rice Gene Discovery Unit, Kasetsart University, Thailand 
  8. Norman Warthmann, Senior Post Doc, Borevitz Laboratory, ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, Australian National University, Australia 
  9. Chungui Lu Lecturer in Post-Genomics, Faculty of Science, Nottingham University, UK 
  10. Beng Kah (Bk) Song, Lecturer, Monash University, Sunway Campus, Australia/ Malaysia 
  11. Kenneth Olsen, Associate Professor Department of Biology, Washington St Louis University, USA 
  12. Yue-Ie Hsing, Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academica Sinica, Taiwan 
  13. Meilina Ong Abdullah, Breeding and Tissue Culture Unit, The Advanced Biotechnology and Breeding Centre, Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Malaysia 
  14. Yijun Ruan, Professor and Director, Systems Biology Center, HuaZhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China 
  15. Sachiko Isobe, Head Applied Plant Genomics, Kaduza DNA Research Institute (KDRI), Japan 
  16. Yuan-Ming Zhang, Professor of Statistical Genomics, State Key Lab. of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Nanjing Agricultural University, China 
  17. Parveen Chhuneja, Geneticist, Bioinformatics Centre School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Punjab Agricultural University, India 
  18. Shengyi Liu, Professor and Head, The Key Lab of Oil Crops Biology, the Ministry of Agriculture, PRC Department of Genomics, Oil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China 
  19. Wen-Hsiung Li, Director and Distinguished Research Fellow, Biodiversity Research Center, Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academica Sinica, Taiwan 
  20. Graham King, Director, Southern Cross Plant Science Professor of Plant Genomics and Epigenetics, Southern Cross University, Australia 
  21. Ryan Lister, Professor/ARC Future Fellow, Plant Energy Biology ARC CoE, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The University of Western Australia 
  22. Amitabh Mohanty, Lead Trait Discovery, E.I. DuPont India Pvt Ltd. 

Advisory Board:

  1. Robin G Allaby, Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, UK
  2. Todd Blevins, Senior Postdoctoral Associate, Pikaard Lab, Indiana University
  3. Roger Bossé, Global Product Line Leader, PerkinElmer
  4. James Coomer, Senior Technical Advisor for Europe. Data Direct Networks
  5. Tamas Dalmay, Professor of RNA Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich 
  6. Massimo Delledonne, Professor, Department of Biotechnology & Director, Functional Genomics Center,  University of Verona, Italy
  7. Joe Duran, Director – HPC Systems, Technology Solutions Division, Fujitsu
  8. Alberto Ferrarini , Biotechnology Professional, University of Verona 
  9. Keywan Hassani-Pak, Group Leader Applied Bioinformatics, Computational and Systems Biology, Rothamsted Research
  10. Julin Maloof, Professor, Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Davis
  11. Piotr Mieczkowski, Director of NGS Facility, Research Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina
  12. Stephen P. Moose, Associate Professor, Maize Genomics, Department of Crop Sciences,, Program Leader, Feedstock Genomics, Energy Biosciences Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  13. Lukas Mueller, Professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Boyce Thompson Institute, Cornell University
  14. Odd-Arne Olsen, Professor at Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (IPM), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) , Faculty of Education & Natural Sciences, Hamar University College (HUC), Norway
  15. Chris Pires, Associate Professor Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
  16. Uwe Scholz, Group Leader, Research Group Bioinformatics and Information Technology, IPK
  17. Alan Schulman, MTT Agrifood Research and Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki 
So after checking out this meeting I decided – at their suggestion to check out the meetings in Europe and the USA they are organizing.  The speakers for the US meeting are a whopping 33:4 male to female according to my count and the ratio for the European meeting is about the same (mind you I like some of the speakers – am not blaming them — but this meeting should be avoided in my opinion).  Definitely not impressed with the organizers here or the Global Engage organization behind these meetings.  Uggh. What is wrong with people?  It is really not actually that hard to do better than this.

YAMMGM: Yet another mostly male genomics meeting #2: Beyond the Genome 2013

Well, the “winner” of this months YAMMGM award is Beyond the Genome 2013 | Mission Bay | San Francisco

Alas, YAMMGM stands for “Yet another mostly male genomics meeting” so it is not an award to covet.

This meetings listed speakers are below with women highlighted in green.

  • Nicholas Navin -The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Sunney Xie – Harvard
  • Xu Xun – BGI
  • James Hicks -CSHL
  • Fuchou Tang – Peking
  • Itai Yanai – Israel
  • Thierry Voet – Sanger
  • Jacob Kitzman – Plasma cell free DNA sequencing
  • Stephen Quake – Stanford and Fluidigm
  • Mario Caccamo – Genome Analysis Centre
  • Rob Martienssen – CSHL
  • Ryan Lister – University of Westerm Australia
  • Neelima Sinha – UC davis
  • Jorge Dubcovsky – UC Davis
  • Robert Schmitz (Salk) – 1001 Arabidopsis project and CHiP-Seq
  • Marja Timmermans (CSHL)
  • Magnus Nordborg
  • Chairs Alicia Oshlack, Yingrui Li and Michael Schatz to chair the bioinformatics challenge.
  • James Taylor – Emory and Galaxy
  • Chris Dagdigian – Bioteam
  • David Haussler -UC Santa Cruz
  • Janet Kelso – Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

That comes to 16.6% if you count all listed.  If you exclude session chairs the numbers are a little different but still pretty low.

Certainly this does not prove any bias on the part of the meeting organizers.  But it certainly suggests to me they might want to think about why the ratio is skewed.

YAMMGM: Yet another mostly male genomics meeting

Just got an email from Illumina – key parts are below:

2013 Illumina Scientific Summit

Dear Jonathan,

Illumina’s third annual Scientific Summit will be held June 3rd through 7th in charming New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Loews Hotel. Described by a past attendee as, “an upscale Gordon Conference”, the Scientific Summit is an invitation-only meeting of 120 leading scientists and thought leaders plus the Illumina executive and R&D leadership teams. 

Plenary sessions will be focused on the Genetic Etiology of Cancer and Genetic Diseases, The Changing Landscape of Medical Genetics, Microbial Detection, and Epigenetics. The formal presentations will be complemented by attendee-driven discussion sessions on a variety of topics ranging from workflow bottlenecks to future applications of Next Generation Sequencing in single cells and diagnostics.

The following distinguished scientists are scheduled to speak:

Dr. Mark Adams, Scientific Director, J. Craig Venter Institute

Dr. Kenneth J. Bloom, Chief Medical Officer, Clarient

Dr. David Craig, Deputy Director of Bioinformatics, Associate Professor and Director, Neurogenomics Division, Head Neurobehavioral Research Unit, TGen

Dr. Richard Gibbs, Wofford Cain Chair in Molecular and Human Genetics, Professor, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Professor, Programs in Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. David Goldstein, Director, Duke Medical Center for Human Genome Variation, Duke University

Dr. Steven Jones, Head of Bioinformatics and Associate Director, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency 

Dr. Michael Katze, Professor, Microbiology, University of Washington

Dr. Jim Knowles, Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, USC

Dr. Peter Laird, Director, USC Epigenome Center, Professor of Surgery,Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Keck School of Medicine, USC

Neil Miller,  Director of Informatics and Software Development, Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City

Dr. Steven Musser, Director, Office of Regulatory Science, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Dr. Charles Perou, Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Professor, Pathology & Lab Medicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Dr. Jonathan Sebat, Chief, Beyster Center for Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego

Dr. George Weinstock, Professor of Genetics and Molecular Microbiology, Washington University

Dr. Liz Worthey, Director of Genomic Informatics, Medical College of Wisconsin

I love Illumina sequencing toys.  I really do.  No so impressed with the gender ratio of this meeting however.  Would not have gone anyway … but if I COULD have attended I would not have.  I wonder -did they even think about whether there might be some bias here?  There certainly are plenty of female candidates they could have invited. Maybe they did not invite women? Maybe all the women said no?