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Institute of Astronomy


Everyone is welcome to join us on Friday the 8th of March as we celebrate International Women's Day at the Institute of Astronomy.

Date: Friday, 8 March, 2024 - 13:00 to 21:00

Event location: Hoyle Lecture Theatre / Streaming

IoA International Women's Day Event

Title: On paths and path integrals: My journey through a wicked problem

The talk traces the paths I've travelled, navigating obstacles and venturing into uncharted territories. By drawing parallels with the inherent uncertainty in quantum systems, it will also make the risky attempt to tackle one of our time’s most wicked problems - gender inequality- using a quantum electrodynamics framework.    

Speaker: Sandro Tacchella, Assistant Professor at the Cavendish Laboratory & the Kavli Institute for Cosmology 

Title: Quantitative evaluation of gender bias in astronomical publications from citation counts 

I will discuss the role of gender in the number of citations that papers receive in astronomy. To account for the fact that the properties of papers written by men and women differ intrinsically, we use a random forest algorithm to control        for the non-gender-specific properties of these papers. I show that papers authored by women receive ~10% fewer citations than would be expected if the papers with the same non-gender-specific properties were written by men. 

Speaker: Alejandra Castro, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics 

Title: Hiring and recruitment experiences in hep-th 

  • 14.45  - 15.15: Tea, Coffee and Cake
  • 15.15  - 16.30: An Interactive Session on Recognising Accomplishments
  • 16.30  - 16.50: Flash Talk by Greg Cooke

Title: Professional female astronomers: from Caroline Herschel to the future 

Caroline Herschel was the first female astronomer. Now we have many, but the there is still a relatively low percentage of female astronomers when compared to many other jobs. I will discuss Caroline's achievements, how far the field has come in the 176 years since her death, and how the path to achieving equal opportunities, with a professional cohort of 50% female and 50% male is very possible with the right policies. 

  • 16.50 - 17.00: Closing Remarks

Undergraduate Event

The Sky is Not the Limit: Celebrating Women in STEM

  • 17:30 - 17:45: Introduction
  • 17:45 - 18:30: Flash Talks
  • 18:30 - 19:00: Break (pizza provided)
  • 19:00 - 20:00: Panel Discussion 
  • 20:00 onwards: Networking Mixer (wine provided)