Presentation by Londa Schiebinger

On June 23rd Lonada Schiebinger who currently directs the EU/US Gendered Innovations project will give a talk on the results of the report Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment

The peer-reviewed project Gendered Innovations develops practical state-of-the-art methods of sex and gender analysis for scientists and engineers and provides 21 case studies as concrete illustrations of how sex and gender analysis leads to new ideas, innovation, and excellence in research.

Thirty years of research have revealed that sex and gender bias is socially harmful and expensive. For example, between 1997 and 2000, 10 drugs were withdrawn from the U.S. market because of life-threatening health effects. Eight of these posed "greater health risks for women than for men" (U.S. GAO, 2001). Not only does developing a drug in the current market cost billions—but when drugs failed, they caused human suffering and death.

Gender bias also leads to missed market opportunities. In engineering, for example, considering short people (many women, but also many men) “out-of-position” drivers leads to greater injury in automobile accidents. In basic research, failing to use appropriate samples of male and female cells, tissues, and animals yields faulty results. In medicine, not recognizing osteoporosis as a male disease delays diagnosis and treatment in men. In city planning, not collecting data on caregiving work leads to inefficient transportation systems. We can’t afford to get the research wrong.

It is therefore crucially important to identify gender bias and understand how it operates in science and technology. But analysis cannot stop there: Gendered Innovations offer state-of-the-art methods of sex and gender analysis. Integrating these methods into basic and applied research produces excellence in science, health & medicine, and engineering research, policy, and practice. The methods of sex and gender analysis are one set of methods among many that a researcher will bring to a project.

Londa Schiebinger will in her talk report the results of the Gendered Innovations project and show how the creative power of sex and gender analysis can help to discover new things.

To sign up for the talk please click here and to learn more about Gendered Innovations, click here.