Plenty of us have scanned down the list of speakers at a conference and wondered why there appeared to be so few women, but when Jonathan Eisen saw the numbers at Q-BIO, he started by taking note: “Q-Bio conference in Hawaii, bring your surfboard & your Y chromosome b/c they don’t take a XX” :
That is a 25:1 ratio. Pathetic. Embarrassing. The sponsors – UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and BioCircuits Institute, San Diego Center for Systems Biology, the University of Hawaii and the Office of Naval Research – should all be ashamed.
He notes in a previous post that the ratio of men and women in biology is close to 1:1, so a ratio so far off that suggests something could use some work. But for Q-BIO, he’s taken it a step further and submitted a very appropriate abstract.
UPDATE – I have now submitted an abstract to the meeting. The abstract I submitted is available here and posted below
The probability of having one out of twenty six participants at a scientific meeting be female
A quantitative analysis of gender bias in quantitative biology meetings
Jonathan A. Eisen
University of California, Davis
(Note – new title suggested by John Hogenesch)
The title alone made me laugh. You can read the full abstract at his blog, including equations and graphs!
 See Tim’s comment below