Central Europen Centre for Women and Youth in Science
SCIENCE POLICIES MEET REALITY: Gender, Women and Youth in Science in Central and Eastern Europe

Call for papers is now CLOSED


Conference: 1-2 December 2006

Venue: Masarykova kolej, Thákurova 1, Prague 6, Czech Republic


There is no conference registration fee, and some funds are available to assist those who wish to present or participate in the conference but do not have the available resources, particularly those from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkan region. However, since our funds are very limited, priority will be given to those who submit a paper for presentation at the conference. Only then will we be able to assist other interested parties.  Early registration is encouraged for those who would like financial assistance, as the majority of funds will be allocated by the end of July.


conference objectives


As the Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science, the first regional support project for women and youth in science funded by the EC, is drawing to its close, this conference will provide an opportunity to assess the impact of the project and present findings and results. This will be done against the backdrop of recognising the growing significance of the gap between the goals of science policies and programmes and their actual implementation.

This conference will discuss for the first time in East-Central Europe current obstacles to successful science policy implementation and discrepancies between the status quo and stated goals concerning gender equality and the position of early stage researchers. This will be done through discussing/disseminating existing research and policy implementation practices.

The conference will bring together researchers from all fields of science, activists and policymakers. We are specifically interested in relevant research and policy implementation experience of scientists and policymakers across Europe who may aid policy formulation and implementation and recognition of scientific excellence. Papers and posters are invited for the following sessions:




session I

Mobility: perils and possibilities


Without fellowships early stage researchers today cannot dream of launching their scientific career, especially in the hard sciences; evidently, those who do not get guidance and information about mobility opportunities are at severe disadvantage. Moreover, mobility schemes often implicitly imply emotional and geographical flexibility. The actual uptake of mobility programmes can therefore mirror various types of conditions, stereotypes and biases based on gender, geo-political location or age. Once out, it may also become difficult to return.

This session will explore the impact of gender, location and age on the ability to be mobile and the reflection of these factors in mobility policy. It will also look into how the demands on mobility get translated into scientific excellence criteria and who loses out.


session II

Is science inspirational? Is life inspirational?!? Opportunities for work-life balance


Policies which allow women and men to balance their personal and professional lives in the sciences are rarely provided and if so, they remain on paper. The question is whether it is really possible to take up work-life balance policies without damaging the career in the eyes of those who measure excellence in terms of continuous, uninterrupted scientific output and visible presence at workplace.

This session will examine the types of work-life balance support in research and development, the background assumptions in which work-life balance issues are framed and what is necessary to make work-life balance programmes a success.


session III

Making decisions and decision making: dealing with sticky floors and glass ceilings


Women are present in decision-making positions and advisory boards in very low numbers. Reasons often cited include, on the one hand, the exclusion of women from the “old boys’ club”, lack of time to network and make informal contacts and less presence among the top echelons from where scientists are invited. On the other hand, it is claimed that women are not interested in leadership positions, lack the self-confidence, that they are not as ambitious and concentrate more on concrete work.

This session will address the impact of policy recommendations to increase the number of women in decision-making in science and of actual measures taken while exploring the obstacles to actually achieving the goals set and resistance to such measures.


session IV

Dumb or deaf? The missing voices and missing issues in science communication


There is great emphasis from the European Commission to communicate science to the public through the media. This need is framed in terms of democratisation of science and increasing the accountability of research and researchers to society. What are the limits of the “democratisation”? Who is conceived a legitimate communicator and who is meant to form an audience? Which scientists and what issues are considered interesting for the general public? Is the gender dimension taken into account, with women having been traditionally excluded from “expertise” which is often called upon by politicians and media to support arguments and interests?

This session will take a look at political agendas in communicating science to society, including the aim to attract young people to the sciences, and the exclusions of voices and issues from the media channels.




Please send a 500-word proposal for poster or presentation, indicating which one, and a brief curriculum vitae by 16 July 2006 via e-mail to Laura Henderson as an attachment (PDF, Word, rtf).

Please address your proposals to the relevant session.

Applicants will be sent a notification of acceptance by 16 September 2006.

Speakers will be obliged to supply a full-length version of their paper or PowerPoint presentation by 3rd November 2006.

Every presenter should send their complete written papers to Laura Henderson by 31 December for on-line proceedings.

Details about format requirements will be sent to speakers separately.


Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science is a project funded by the European Commission
under Framework Programme 6 in the Structuring the ERA specific programme.