Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Inaugural Athena SWAN lecture delivered in Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Thu Mar 05 10:01:00 GMT 2015

Professor Gina Rippon delivered a lecture in Pharmacy & Pharmacology on Wednesday 4 March to celebrate the Department’s recent Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging in the Aston Brain Centre at Aston University, Rippon has a background in psychology and physiology and uses brain imaging techniques to investigate the relationship between patterns of brain activation and human sensory, cognitive and affective processes.

In a fascinating talk Professor Rippon (pictured below, centre, with members of the Department) explored the history of how brain science can be used to support biological differences between males and females.

The media often misrepresent brain science - so called “neurotrash”, leading to “ neurosexism”, which perpetuates gender stereotypes. Many of the reported differences in men and women’s brains are in fact related to physical size.

Gina Rippon (centre) with members of the Athena SWAN implementation committeeProfessor Rippon demonstrated that our brains are plastic structures, influenced by many different factors, and interpreting brain imaging studies is not simple. Perhaps the most important message of her talk was to ask the question “how big is your effect size?” when considering such studies.

After her talk Professor Rippon also participated in a Q&A session on career development pathways with postgraduates and postdoctoral staff. 

Athena SWAN

athena-swan-bronze The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.