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Women, science, and development

OWSD 6th General Assembly and International Conference

November 08 - November 19, 2021

OWSD Secretariat, Trieste, Italy
virtual conference

The 6th General Assembly and International Conference of OWSD was held from November 8-19, 2021.

The conference was held entirely online for the first time in OWSD's 28-year history, allowing more of OWSD's thousands of members to participate than ever before.

The conference theme was 'Women, science and development', exploring three areas of relevance: 1) the importance of basic sciences for development; 2) the impact of applied sciences on development and 3) including sex and gender as variables in scientific research.

Keynote speakers included: Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General of CERN; Bina Agarwal, an internationally celebrated economist specializing in the political economy of gender, poverty and inequality; and Angela Saini, award-winning author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story, Superior: The Return of Race Science, and other books.

Professor Alberto Quadrio-Curzio, renowned Italian economist and ex-president of the Accademia dei Lincei, presented a special edition of the Economia Politica journal, focusing on 'Pandemics, women and the Global South' which includes an editorial by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

OWSD members presented their own research in the three themes during poster sessions throughout the conference. In addition, members presented their own scientific and personal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. All members also had the opportunity to take part in a workshop on increasing their visibility and impact as a scientist, with a session on using podcasts for storytelling by Joy Owango and Adelle Onyango of the Training Centre in Communication (TCC Africa), followed by a session on filmmaking for impact by Nicole Leghissa, OWSD video consultant.

The conference included a handover of the previous OWSD Executive Board to the new members, elected in June-July 2021. On the last day of the conference (19 November), an in-person event was held in Trieste, Italy, with local supporters of women, science, and development, including the regional and city governments, universities, research institutions and associations, foundations, and local industry. Italian Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi also connected remotely to express his ministry’s support for OWSD.

The Trieste event was coordinated with in-person events hosted by OWSD National Chapters throughout the developing world and streamed online. More than 1,500 OWSD members, women scientists from developing countries around the world, participated online in the General Assembly and conference. Gatherings were held in Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Myanmar, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Conference website

Conference programme

News from the conference

Watch the conference recordings

Posters presented at the conference

Photos from National Chapter gatherings


YouTube playlist: OWSD 6th General Assembly and International Conference

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