Report on the regional workshop at NTNU, Taiwan

The first of the three regional workshops for the 2017 ICSU Gender Gap in Science project took place at the National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), Taipei, Taiwan, on November 7-8, 2017. A total of 38 delegates from 12 countries (Australia, China, France, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and USA) representing 9 unions (IMU, IUPAC, IUPAP, IAU, ICIAM, IHUPST, UNESCO, IUBS, and ACM) were present in the workshop.

For the opening, the workshop invited NTNU’s Vice-President, Prof. Cheng-Chih Wu and the President of Chemical Society Located in Taipei, Prof. Chain-Shu Hsu as honored guests. In his opening speech, Vice-President Wu extended his welcome to all attendees, and expressed his belief that there is no difference in ability between genders. President Hsu, an alumni of NTNU, also stated that there is an increasing trend in the number of women in scientific fields in Taiwan.

Together, the participants worked on a global survey for professional scientists and advanced students from the fields of mathematical and natural sciences, and computing. Our aim is to have a better knowledge of the gender gap in science around the world, by exploring comparisons between men and women across regions, countries, disciplines, level of development of the country, sector of employment (academia, industry, school), and age (younger and older respondents).

The 2-day workshop took place at NTNU’s Gongguan campus. A total of 18 presentations on gender issues across different disciplines in various countries in Asia and Australasia were given. Dr. Rachel Ivie, director of the AIP Statistical Research Center, led the discussion on the survey. The host of the workshop, Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu, along with the coordinator of the Gender Gap in Science project, Prof. Marie-Francoise Roy, led the sessions on the main tasks set forth in the project.

With eager contributions from all attendees, insights from different disciplines and countries were shared, further helping refine the global survey to be culturally appropriate both in terms of language as well as in substance. The workshop concluded successfully on November 8 with fruitful results, which will be shared with upcoming workshops in South America and Africa, and hopefully bring about a more gender-equal tomorrow.