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Events for Excellence

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Gender Summit-Asia Pacific, Singapore, 2019 (GS16)

 Womenlines is delighted to share about the upcoming Gender Summit on 28-29th August, Level 2, Matrix, Biopolis, Singapore.  In the Summit the importance and relevance of gender/diversity dimension for quality and impact of research and innovation will be discussed by 60 international speakers. Singapore Women In Science (SGWIS) are hosting the 2019 Gender Summit. SGWIS is hosting the 16th Gender Summit in Singapore with partnership support from other women in science groups from leading science institutions in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region. This gender summit will continue the work of previous events to enhance scientific excellence by drawing focus to the presence of gender bias in scientific knowledge-making and to hold space for conversations about advancing gender equality in scientific practises and institutions. The theme for this year’s event is Diversity and Gender in Science: Enhancing the Value of Research and Innovation. 

The GS16 is Co-Led by Dr. Vandana Ramachandran (Co-founder SgWIS, Director, Research Affairs & Administration, Singapore Eye Research Institute) and Dr. Lakshmi Ramachandran (Programme Manager, Cancer ImmunoTherapy Imaging, Duke-NUS Medical School).  Dr.Lakshmi Ramachandran shares her insights with Womenlines-

1) Unique Opportunity for Singapore

The 16th edition of Gender Summit* is for the first time taking place in Singapore on the 28th and 29th of August at Biopolis. The importance and relevance of gender/diversity dimension for quality and impact of research and innovation will be discussed by 60 international speakers.

The Gender Summit is a global platform for dialogue to help address widespread gaps and biases in science knowledge and innovation, which means that science today has more evidence for men than for women or groups with different ethnicities. The consequence is that quality of research outcomes can be often worse for women, for example, women are 47% more likely to suffer severe injuries from a car crash compared to men because the safety of cars is tested exclusively on data from male crash test dummies. But, there are also missed opportunities to create new markets for science knowledge using basic and translational research, for instance, metabolic profiles of women and men differ in significant ways, which is relevant for developing diagnostic biomarkers for diabetes, and new research has identified sex differences in immune pathways in cancer, which has relevance for developing future immunotherapies. Understanding such fundamental differences and choosing study models that take these into account is important for unbiased research outcomes.

At the GS16, Prof. Sabra L. KLEIN (Johns Hopkins University, the Vaccine Initiative, USA) will present a Keynote Lecture on “Gender perspective on vaccine design and delivery: how understanding basic biology of sex differences can improve public health response to infectious diseases”.

2) Gender dimension in both Science and Society

Good science is needed for a sustainable world. In today’s dynamic and evolving era of digitalization, science and society are interlinked, more than ever. It is important to view society as a whole, where no one is left behind, irrespective of gender, age, status and profession, and everybody can benefit from scientific advances and technological innovations. The Gender Summit examines the socio-cultural differences between men and women in science, and how science can provide more welcoming career paths for women, thereby improving diversity at all professional levels in science.

3) Eminent Keynote Speakers and +60 international speakers

The GS16 Guest of Honour, Ms.CHAN Lai Fung, Chairman Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Permanent Secretary (National Research and Development) will share perspectives from the Asia-Pacific and Singapore.

Prof. Subra Suresh, the president of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and inaugural Distinguished University Professor (the highest honour given to a faculty member at NTU) will present a Keynote talk on “Digitalisation of societies and economies for a fairer and more sustainable future” at the GS16.

Prof. Curt RICE, who is an American-born Norwegian Linguist and Rector of Oslo Metropolitan University will share a Keynote Lecture on The ‘disruptive’ innovation power of new science institutions: transforming the status quo.

+60 other international speakers from Asia, Europe, North America and Africa will cover major themes on Meeting Societal Challenges, Digitalisation of Society, Disruptive Innovation of Institutions, Implementing Gender Equality, Research Quality and Impact and Women in STEM. 

4) Walking the talk- Gender Summit is an inclusive platform 

Whether you are a scientist, innovator, gender equality expert, a policymaker, or simply curious to know how diversity and inclusivity of your organization can be improved, the Gender Summit provides ample opportunities for you to learn and grow your network. It is also a truly diverse and global platform involving both men and women at the speaker and attendees level, representing 7000 strong community of experts and practitioners.

5) Be inspired by the Gender Summit 16 story

“Voices can be heard and change can happen when there is conviction and collaboration”. The GS16 is a purely grass-roots level initiative led by the network of Singapore Women in Science, which gathered enough momentum to gain institutional support from various influential science institutes in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific. The GS16 was initiated by Dr. Vandana Ramachandran (Singapore Eye Research Institute SERI; Co-founder SgWIS) and Dr. Lakshmi Ramachandran (Duke-NUS Medical School) with the support from Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer (below).

The Gender Summit is a global platform of dialogue created in 2011 in Europe by Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, co-founder and Director of Portia, an organization devoted to improving gender equality in STEM and promoting the inclusion of the gender dimension in STEM.


1)      The Gender Summit

2)      The Gender Summit 16 Programme

3) REGISTRATION (Promocode for 30% corporate group discounts- INDDISC30)


Partners & Generous Sponsors- Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), JTC, Elsevier Publishing, The Elsevier Foundation, KPMG Group, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Skin Research Society Singapore, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI), Asian Scientist, IDRC/CDRI, CSIRO, ISTeR, ASSAf, GenderInSITE, futurorth, CIHR-IRSC, OSLOMET, Next Einstein Forum

Dr. Lakshmi Ramachandran, PhD

Science Manager & Communicator I Speaker- *Productive Life* I Author I Blogger I Co-Lead Gender Summit 16
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