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2017.06.09 Report: Gender Summit 10 Satellite Conference in Okinawa

The Gender Summit 10 Satellite Conference in Okinawa was held with the theme of “Frontiers of Science in Asia-Pacific” at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) on May 29-30, 2017. This conference was a satellite event of the Gender Summit 10 which was held with the theme of “Better Science and Innovation through Gender, Diversity and Inclusive Engagement” in Tokyo on May 25-26. The Gender Summit is an international movement to discuss science and gender, started in 2011 and has taken place all over the world. The conference was organized by OIST, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Kyushu University and University of the Ryukyus. About 80 people from more than 10 countries and regions attended the conference.

On May 29, people participated in a Scientific Talks, a poster session and a panel discussion. The Scientific Talks consisted of seven invited lectures by internationally active female researchers in Asia Pacific region: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, the US and Japan. (For the title of the lectures and the name of the lecturers, see the list below.) The lectures covered a wide range of topics from the research fields of the speakers to viewpoints to solve various problems facing society. The audiences were all ears and addressed questions proactively.

List of the Lectures
Dr. Dwikorita Karnawati, Indonesia
“Socio-entrepreneurial Strategy and to Support Society Innovation Driven by Higher Education”
Dr Rubiyah Yusof, Malaysia
“Advances in Automatic Tropical Wood Recognition System”
Dr. Yoosoon Chang, USA
“Do Shocks to Income Distribution Permanently Change Consumption Distribution? : Time Series of Cross-Sectional Distributions with Common Stochastic Trends”
Dr. Yuko Kakazu, Hawaii, USA
“Mapping Young, Extremely Low Metallicity Galaxies”
Dr. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Taiwan
“Confronting Challenges of Future Environment: a Public Health Perspective”
Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Dennis, Australia
“Hybrids, Hybrid Mimics and Food Security”
Dr. Ye Zhang, Japan
“Design and Synthesis Active Soft Materials Inspired by the Living Systems”

During the poster session, young researchers and graduate students presented their current researches. The presenters were from the member universities of Q-wea, a collaboration between universities in Kyushu and Okinawa to support female researchers. The poster session included 30 posters mainly in the field of science and technology: 10 in medical science, 4 in agriculture, 2 in astronomy, 4 in chemistry and 12 in physics and mathematics. All participants exchanged their opinions actively in the venue with an ocean view.

After the poster session, people attended the panel discussion with the theme of “Current Status and Future Opportunities for Women Scientists in Asia-Pacific.” The panelists were the speakers of the Scientific Talks and Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer who was a female researcher from the UK and the founder of the Gender Summit presided over the discussion. The panelists introduced the current issues in each region and shared perspectives regarding gender equality. 

At dinner, Dr. Lily Yu had a presentation titled “Advancing Gender Equality in STEM through Design and Assessment.” The subject was highly relevant with the panel discussion and the participants listened attentively while eating dinner. Then, the participants enjoyed the traditional music and dance of Okinawa performed by local people. The first day was ended on a high note.

On the second day, the participants deepened relationship through optional tours to OIST campus, Churaumi Aquarium or the Home of Bashofu Textile (a traditional Okinawan textile).

The Gender Summit 10 Satellite Conference in Okinawa brought the participants a great opportunity to meet researchers in various field beyond their area of expertise. The conference also provided an opportunity for researchers who had been unfamiliar with gender issues to learn about the current status of female researchers all over the world including Japan. Many participants commented that they had a good time and thanked OIST for their hospitality.

The report of The Gender Summit 10 Satellite Conference in Okinawa (OIST)
*For Japanese report