NIH director will no longer participate in all-male panels

NIH director will no longer participate in all-male panels
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The director of the National Institutes of Health will no longer participate in all-male panels, he announced Wednesday.

Francis Collins said in a statement that "it is time to end the tradition in science of all-male speaking panels."


The decision comes in response to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine which identified a key role for scientific leaders to play in combatting gender harassment and disparities in women's visibility in science.

"Too often, women and members of other groups underrepresented in science are conspicuously missing in the marquee speaking slots at scientific meetings and other high-level conferences," Collins said in a statement.

"Starting now, when I consider speaking invitations, I will expect a level playing field, where scientists of all backgrounds are evaluated fairly for speaking opportunities. If that attention to inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda, I will decline to take part."

Collins challenged other scientific leaders to take a similar pledge.