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Women and science: the view from institutions of quality research




Only twenty per cent of Europe’s professorships with the highest endowments are occupied by women, and the statistics are similar for all institutions related with high-level academic research. Debate on the issue of women in science is therefore inescapable. While there may be general agreement concerning the need for more women to be engaged in science and research, obstacles appear when it comes to solving the problem. Reconciling working life and family life, the unequal presence of women depending on the academic discipline, and implicit bias in the predisposition towards a less positive assessment of the work done by women are some of the key issues to be discussed when inquiring into this situation. Moreover, a greater presence of women scientists is an improvement which would, perforce, have an impact on the quality of research being done today, and on society as a whole: incorporating women’s ways of doing things, working and analysing is a contribution that could contribute towards broadening and enriching our knowledge of the world and also an essential step if we are to achieve a more egalitarian society.

This cycle of debates aims to highlight all these questions, present their ramifications, and ask whether there are short- or long-term solutions. “Women and Science” is the fifth of the jointly organised ICREA-CCCB Debates, a regularly occurring endeavour which aims to inform the general public of the advances being made and challenges facing top-ranking scientists currently working in Catalonia.



Isabelle Vernós, ICREA Research Professor at the Centre for Genomic Regulation of Barcelona and member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

Núria Sebastián, Professor of Psychology at the Pompeu Fabra University and Vice-President of the European Research Council, winner of the ICREA “Acadèmia” award in 2009 and 2014.

Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, tenured lecturer in Urban Planning at the Technical University of Madrid and, from 2012 to 2014, director of the Women and Science Unit of the Spanish Minister’s Office for Science and Innovation.

Presented by Josep Corbella, scientific journalist for the daily La Vanguardia

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