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Prof. Tomas Brage, D-Phys, University of Lund, Sweden

Title of presentation: What does Gender have to do with Physics? 
Tomas Brage 13Sept2017

Abstract:
Physics is often seen, by Physicists not the least, as an objective Science and we believe we are surrounded by a “culture without culture”. At the same time our history, class- and board rooms are dominated by men. This is a clear paradox that should awaken the curiosity of anyone. In this talk I will give some examples on how you can approach the question on “what does gender have to do with Physics”.

There have been several studies of Physicists and I will combine a discussion of these with some general theory and personal experiences, to paint a picture on how gender transgress Physics, like all other fields. By using the three levels of change introduced by Schiebinger, I refer to studies of e.g. Anthropologists and Psychologists. The bias against women, due to the fact that Physics is stereotypically male, combined with the “myth of meritocracy” could be one key to understand the lack of women in the field.

The talk is intended as a translation of results from recent progress in Gender Science to an audience of non-experts in the field, especially people within STEM-fields. The aim is to give some answers to the question in the title, but also to show that this is an extremely interesting and active research field.

Short biography:
Professor Brage obtained his PhD in Atomic Physics in 1988 and has since then had positions as a Research Assistant Professor in Computer Science at Vanderbilt University between 1989 and 1993, and Research Associate at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working on the Goddard High Resolution Spectroscopy mission on the Hubble Space Telescope, from 1994 to 1996. He is now a Professor of Physics at the Division of Mathematical Physics of the Department of Physics in Lund University, where he has been active with teaching and research for twenty years.

His main interests are Laboratory Astrophysics and Computational Atomic Physics, and has published around 100 articles in refereed journals. He is a visiting researcher at the Fudan University in Shanghai in China, where he spends a few months each year at the Key Laboratory for Ion Traps. During the last 10-15 years he has been strongly involved in Gender and Science, where he is active in several European networks, e.g. as a steering group member for the workgroup for Gender of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) network, as well as the expert group of the SAGE and GENERA Horizon 2020 projects. He has led several projects at Lund, e.g. the Gender Certification project, the Antidiscrimination education and the Core-Value project. He has received the Gunilla Jarlbro award for important contributions for equal opportunities in the academia.
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