Meeting website: https://wisj2019.wixsite.com/wisj/isfrcb2020
December 5, 2020 (Sat) 14:30–21:00 JST (Zoom online meeting)
Capacity: 300 people (registration required from the following URL, first-come, first-served)
Organizer: Women in Science Japan (WiSJ) https://www.wisj.online/
Yuki Okada (Professor, Univ of Tokyo), Junko Kanoh (Professor, Univ of Tokyo)
Masako Tada (Professor, Toho Univ), Ichiro Hiratani (Team Leader, RIKEN BDR)
Susan Gasser (Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute)
MEXT Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas, Chromatin Potential (Leader: Hiroshi Kimura)
Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, (as part of the IPR Seminar)
RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (RIKEN BDR)
The Molecular Biology Society of Japan (MBSJ)
The Genetics Society of Japan
The Naito Foundation
Chromatin biology has attracted many scientists over the years so it is natural that there are many active female leaders in the international community in this field. In Japan, while the percentage of female researchers in this field is relatively high, their international recognition has been stagnant. Multiple factors have led to this state, including the generally low representation of women in Japanese society, the heavy burden of housework and childcare in Japan, and the lack of participation in international conferences and communities due to geographical disadvantages. It is necessary to cope with these structural problems of Japanese society and increase the number of female principal investigators (PIs) in Japan and enhance their international presence.
In 2019, we organized the first International Symposium for Female Researchers in Chromatin Biology in Japan, the ISFRCB 2019, which provided a rare opportunity to support and inspire female scientists in Japan. It was possible by bringing together prominent female scientists who are professors and institute directors from various European countries to not only present their research but also to share their experiences during difficult times in their careers as female scientists. A lecturer from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) also provided a course on laboratory management. These ground-breaking efforts were highlighted on the institutional websites of the participating female researchers from Europe. Naturally, there were positive voices and requests in and out of Japan to hold the second ISFRCB in 2020.
For these reasons, we will hold the second ISFRCB on December 5, 2020 to inspire female researchers in Japan. Unfortunately, the ISFRCB 2020 will be held online this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we will actively discuss what is needed to increase the number of female PIs from various perspectives, with speakers from in and out of Japan. We would like to emphasize that the scope of this symposium is not limited to young female researchers. We welcome participants of all ages, both male and female, who are interested in this issue to think together to solve the difficult situation of female researchers in Japan.
Outline of the Symposium
The symposium will consist of three sessions. The first session (“How can female researchers survive the job market in Japan?”) will be in Japanese. Various speakers will share their practical tips on how to get through the selection process and will exchange ideas with young female researchers aiming to become PIs in Japan. The second session will be in English. The second session, entitled "Scientific Talk by Young Female Scientists", provides young Japanese female researchers with an opportunity to present their work in an international setting. This session will appeal to female international leaders from abroad and other participants from in and out of Japan. It will also provide an opportunity for international networking by sharing the stage for presentations with young researchers from abroad. In the third session, entitled "Exchange of Opinions on the Training and Promotion of Female Researchers," we will have speakers from in and out of Japan present topics from various perspectives on what is expected of female PIs and how to foster their successors (female researchers) and exchange opinions. Please check the meeting website for speaker lists and details.