Clare Burton Memorial Lectures 2011
How the New Neurosexism Helps Sustain the Status Quo: Charting the journey from scanner to sound bite to society
In the 2011 the Clare Burton Memorial lecture is delivered by Associate Professor Cordelia Fine.
For as long as there has been brain science there have been – in retrospect – misguided explanations and justifications of sex inequality: women’s skulls are the wrong shape; their brains too small; their hemispheres too unspecialized. These hypotheses eventually find themselves hurled on the scientific scrap heap - but not before they become part of cultural lore, and reinforce social attitudes about men and women in ways that hinder progress towards greater sex equality.
It's still happening.
In this lecture Cordelia will show how contemporary social attitudes about gender subtly shape the neuroscience of sex differences and, less subtly, its popularization. These over-confident claims about ‘his brain’ and ‘her brain’ then reinforce old-fashioned gender stereotypes. Evidence is growing that these stereotypes, invigorated by neurosexism, can influence attitudes and behaviour in the workplace in self-fulfilling ways. Neurosexism, in other words, helps to sustain the very differences it is supposed to explain.
Dr Cordelia Fine is an academic psychologist and writer. She has been described as "that rare academic who's also an excellent writer" (Library Journal), a "cognitive neuroscientist with a sharp sense of humour and an intelligent sense of reality" (The Times), "a brilliant feminist critic of the neurosciences" (Times HES), "a science writer to watch"(Metro) and a Myth Busting Hero (CARE).
Cordelia's latest book, Delusions of gender: How our minds, society, and neurosexism create difference was short-listed for the Best Book of Ideas Prize 2011 and the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2010. It is currently short-listed for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction. She is also the author of A Mind of Its Own: How your brain distorts and deceives.
Cordelia studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, followed by an M.Phil in Criminology at Cambridge University. She was awarded a Ph.D in Psychology from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. Between 2002 to 2011 she held research positions at Monash University, ANU and then Macquarie University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Centre for Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne.
The Clare Burton Memorial Lectures
This is the thirteenth Clare Burton Memorial Lecture. The lectures commemorate Dr Clare Burton, who passed away suddenly in August 1998. Clare was a leading researcher, public sector administrator, academic, consultant, and writer on employment equity.
The lectures are hosted by ATN WEXDEV, an executive development program for women in the five universities of the Australian Technology Network: Curtin University of Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, the University of South Australia and the University of Technology, Sydney. A lecture will also be held in Canberra under the joint sponsorship of the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.
Download a copy of the lecture: How the New Neurosexism Helps Sustain the Status Quo
2011 Dates and Venues
Wednesday 26 October 2011, 12pm to 2pm
Storey Hall 'Green Brain' Conference Rooms (Building 16.7)
Hosted by RMIT University, Melbourne
Contact Jasmin Barker on (03) 9925 0740
Thursday 27 October 2011, 5.30 to 7.30pm
The Chancellery, Level 4, UTS Tower Building 1, Broadway
Hosted by the University of Technology Sydney
Contact Dinah Cohen on (02) 9514 7612
Monday 31 October 2011, from 5pm
Bradley Forum, Level 5, Hawke Building, City West Campus, 50 North Terrace Adelaide
Hosted by the University of South Australia, Adelaide
This lecture is now fully subscribed, though enquiries are still welcome
Contact: Siobhan Langan on (08) 8302 1638
Friday 4 November 2011 from 12.00 to 2.00 pm
Gardens Theatre Foyer, Gardens Point Campus
Hosted by the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Contact Kym Mayers on (07) 3138 4174
Friday 11 November 2011, lunchtime event
Parmelia Hilton, Perth
Hosted by Curtin University, Perth
Contact Janice Burmaz on (08) 9266 3980