SWEEET 2016: Symposium for Women Entering Ecology & Evolution Today

I've gotten way behind on my bi-monthly blog posts since mid-April. I'm down 5 posts, so my #SciComm goal while I'm at the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, is to finish 5 draft posts, and get caught up.

SWEEET conf title 2016

Yesterday, on my way to Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, as is so often the case en route to conferences, I sat next to a PhD student from Guelph University, who was also headed to #CSEE2016. We chatted about Simon Denomme-Brown's research (working with decades of Algonquin Park deer mouse data), and I ran my nearly completed talk for today's SWEEET symposium past him. I was delighted to hear that one of his lab mates, Julia Kilgour, was looking forward to SWEEET, and that she had brought Clancy et al. 2014 to be read and discussed at the lab. meeting.

SWEEET was founded in 2008 by students and post-docs who identified the need for a conversation and mentorship around the issues of how young women entering the fields of ecology and evolution could survive and navigate this intensely competitive research field. This grassroots symposium has taken place each year, just before the annual Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution meeting. But, in my view, it's unfair for the young founders, many of whom are now tenure-stream faculty, with young children, to continue to shoulder the burden of what is clearly a very important enterprise. Part of my goal in getting involved this year, has been to think about ways of stabilizing and streamlining the organization of SWEEET, to make it less easier and less work to organize: I've created a template and to-do list for future organizers!

I want to thank Jana, Risa and Emilie for their work on this year's SWEEET, in which the goal is to think about the issues and challenges faced by the ecology and evolution community, in the broader context of women in STEM. I also want to thank UBC, SFU, and the Universities of Ottawa and Calgary for their financial support.

I ask the rest of Canada's highered institutions where there are ecology and evolution faculty and students (that's most of you) -- where is your financial support for this important event?

Canada, in comparison to the USA, UK and Australia, is woefully lacking in governmental and institutional leadership on the issues that women in STEM continue to face -- so why aren't you financially supporting SWEEET, which can be an effective model for other STEM fields?

Enough of me creating science policy options and doing other people's jobs for them -- as if I don't already do enough of that. Here is the line-up of great speakers (yes, I'm on it, too!):

SWEEET 2016 programme