Moderator: Dr Olive Shisana, Evidence Based Solutions
Panelist: Dr Tonya Blowers, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)
Panelist: Dr Dorothy Ngila, National Research Foundation
Panelist: Prof Sonya Smith, Howard University
There is a growing interest in the intersection of gender and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in many parts of the world. This is a result of the realization that there is gender bias that affects, not only results in inequality between the genders but also affects knowledge production which differentially benefits males and females. By not having equality in the appointment of both males and females, the research conducted tends to also be less sensitive to gender bias. This raises a question of whether the production of scientific knowledge and developing innovative solutions be gender sensitive in order to benefit all? Scientists all over the world have a shared responsibility to promote gender-sensitive science, research, and innovation that improves the quality of people’s lives regardless of their gender status. The session will bring together a team of experienced scientists and leaders of STEM institutions to share ideas about how to advance societies through the application of gender-sensitive science, research, and innovation with a view to informing practice in institutions.
Dr Tonya Blowers, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World
Tonya Blowers is Programme Coordinator of the Organization for Women in science for the Developing World (OWSD). She holds a PhD in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Warwick, UK and has lectured at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and developed science communication courses for PhD students in neuroscience, biology, physics and mathematics at SISSA in Trieste, Italy. Before joining OWSD, Tonya was Staff Writer at TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), contributing many articles on science in developing countries and editing the TWAS Newsletter. Tonya also spent ten years as an entrepreneur, running creative writing day and residential courses for her successful London business ‘Wordplay’. In 2013, Tonya was selected by TWAS to manage OWSD programmes and over the last 4 years, under her guidance and vision, the Organization has more than doubled in size and funding.
Dr Dorothy Ngila, National Research Foundation
Dorothy Ngila advances her career at South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) as a Project Specialist. Her major time responsibility is to coordinate the NRF’s contribution to the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa, a multi-stakeholder and multi-agency programme seeking to enhance the capacities of 15 science granting councils in Africa. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) South African National Chapter; and the Gender Working Group of the Global Research Council. Prior to joining the NRF, she was Senior Liaison Officer, Acting Liaison Manager and Liaison Officer at the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Ms Ngila possesses a Masters degree in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa and a Bachelor of Arts (Public Administration and Environmental Sciences) from the University of Botswana. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at Stellenbosch University.
Prof Sonya Smith, Howard University