Central Europen Centre for Women and Youth in Science
Science Policies Meet Reality conference: gender, women, youth and science in Central and Eastern Europe
1-2 December 2006. International conference organised as part of the project to 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 Science Policies Meet Reality is held under the auspices of Prof. Helena Illnerova, former President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Petr Mateju, Deputy MInister of Education, Youth and Sports.



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.


1 December 2006

8:00 registration


9:30 welcome

Prof. Helen Illnerova, former President of the Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic, and chair of the Ethics Committee of the Academy of Sciences CR


9:45 opening speech – Central European Centre for Women and Youth in Science

Marcela Linkova, Institute of Sociology


10:15 keynote speech

Claudia Neubauer, Sciences Citoyennes


11:00 coffee/tea break


11:30 History, Objectives and Findings of the Enwise expert group

Hana Havelkova, Faculty of Sociology, Charles University


11.55 Enwise Follow-up Report

Dunja Mladenic, Jozef Stefan Institute

Marcela Linkova, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences CR

Dora Groo, Hungarian Science and Technology Foundation


13:00 discussion


13:30 lunch


14:30 parallel workshops

session I Mobility: perils and possibilities

chair: Alice Szczepanikova

rapporteur: Alice Cervinkova


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.

  • Alice Cervinkova: Researchers in motion
  • Rafealla Di Sante and Giovanna Avellis: Women in the MCFA: stories of mobility and success
  • Elena Lavrentsova

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

chair: Maca Jogan

rapporteur: Katerina Saldova


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.

  • Clem Herman: Achieving a harmonious work life balance: myth or reality? Experiences of women returning to work in science engineering and technology in the UK
  • Natasza Kosakowska and Paulina Petrus: Women’s dual shift – women’s quality of life in dual-career marriages.
  • Dagmar Meyer and Magda Lola: Work-life balance – the impact of national policies A comparative study with a special focus on early career researchers
  • James Moir: Tipping the Scales: Talking About Women in Science and Work-Life Balance
  • Giedrė Purvaneckienė: Women in science: work-family balance. The BASNET project
  • Pooran Wynarczyk: The impact of Work-Life Balance Policies on the Participation of Women in Industrial Research and Development (R&D) in the North East of England
  • Spela Stres


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

chair: Solveig Bergman

rapporteur: Silvia Mihalikova


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.

  • Isabel Beuter: Encouragement to Advance – Training Seminars for Women Scientists
  • Kerstin Lagerstrom: Why IDAS? a working model aimed at identifying and developing women as potential and essential forces for change in universities and university colleges
  • Chloe Renner: SET Pipeline: Women beyond the Glass Ceiling in the UK
  • Rūta Žiliukaitė: Women’s participation in decision-making in science: the project BASNET
  • Aurejlia Novelskaite: Women’s strategies of (ill) success in Lithuanian academic/scientific community


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

chair : Marie-Claude Roland

rapporterr: Tereza Stockelova


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.

  • Stefania Dimitrova: Communicating science and the female archetype of wisdom
  • Lena Prykhodko: Do we miss somebody out?: Discourse on Women and Science in Public Space


16:00 coffee / tea break


16:30 parallel workshops continue


17:30 poster session


18:30 close


19:30 screening of Femmes de Tetes (Municipal Library, Prague) and buffet dinner



2 December 2006


9:30 opening


9:40 recommendations from workshops



10:40 discussion


11:30 coffee / tea break


12:00 FP 7 and the future of the gender dimension and women in science

Camilla Gidlof-Regnier, European Commission


12:20 Western and Eastern European Aspects of Gender Issues for Higher Education Management

Svetlana Shmelova, University of Economy and Law, Ukraine


12:50 UNESCO women and Science Report

Zofia Klemen-Krek, Sloveina


13:05 European Platform of Women Scientists

Adelina Huminic, EPWS


13:25 closing discussion


14:00 close and buffet lunch


Note: posters will be on display throughout the conference at the conference venue.

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.