I’m just getting back to normal after returning Monday night from The Amaz!ng Meeting 8 in Las Vegas (well, back to “Sam normal” anyway). My brain has finally processed all the new information and wonderful entertainment the conference provided, and my liver has finally processed all the booze the parties provided.
Anyway, one subject that seems to always arise at science and skepticism conferences, and one that we discuss here at Skepchick quite often, is the issue of gender representation; that being, female representation amongÂ conference attendees and speakers.
Well,Â it seems to this casual observer thatÂ the number of female atendeesÂ is steadily growing.Â And this year, there were 17 women included on the list of speakersÂ printed on the program for TAM, including our own Rebecca Watson, who moderated a panel of women talking about women in skepticism. Skepchick contributor, Karen Stollznow, was on a panel about paranormal investigations, which was moderated by Julia Galef of Rationally Speaking fame.Â And, Pamela Gay, Carol Tavris, and Jennifer Michael HechtÂ all had solo spots behind the mic.
I realize TAM is but a single event inÂ a collectionÂ of many science and skepticism conferences, and things might not be ideal quite yet for some folks’ tastes, but in thisÂ one instanceÂ at least,Â gender representationÂ is lookingÂ better.
However, it is still fairly obvious that race represenationÂ has yet to enjoy such progress.Â Of the 1300 plus attendees, there were aÂ handful ofÂ Asian and Hispanic faces in the crowd.Â A black couple sat in front of meÂ on Sunday, andÂ Skepchick’sÂ own Maria was one ofÂ three Indian faces that I saw.
So let’s open up the floor to your thoughtsÂ on this subject.Â Â
*First, what is your race (if it can be easily categorized)? Second, and more importantly, is race representation in science and skeptic communities an issue? What do you see as a solution(s)? Or, are the diverse heritages boasted by an ever-growing number of people making it a non-issue?
*In the interest of full disclosure, I am a honky mo-fo, cracker, who has been bronzed over from exposure to the sun, but who nevertheless falls into the category of white male.
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.