FoWCS Luncheon for Women in Computer Science

Categories: Event

The FoWCS committee would like to invite you to our upcoming FoWCS luncheon featuring a very insightful and thought-provoking talk by the President of SCWIST, Elana Brief.

I hope you can come listen to the talk, share your thoughts with Elana and other female faculty and students, and enjoy some lunch!

If you haven’t already done so, please RSVP to Colleen at [email protected] ASAP so we know how much food to order.


Creating Space for Women Scientists to Succeed: How Gender Researchers Raise the Questions Scientists and Engineers Need to Answer.

Elana Brief, PhD
Research Director, Women’s Health Research Network
Research Associate, UBC Physics
President, Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST)

For most of my scientific career, I believed that my decision to go into science was based purely on personal choice. In the science promotion work I have done, I have imported the same philosophy: if science interests girls, then girls will study it. The fundamental flaw with my belief was that I ignored the deep sociocultural forces at play when girls consider science and when women pursue careers in science and engineering. In September 2008, I attended an international conference in Sweden entitled “Crossing Perspectives on Gender and Physics”. Gender researchers and physicists from Europe and North America assembled to try to find a common language, or at least common questions. It struck me that I had never considered consulting a gender researcher to help me understand why so few women enrol in physics, engineering and computer science. In this talk, I will share some of the key ideas that I took away from the conference. My hope for this seminar will be to spark discussion and inspire new, locally-relevant questions.

Elana Brief is a Research Director for the Women’s Health Research Network (WHRN) where she gets BC health researchers to ask how sex and gender may influence the conditions they study. She holds a PhD in Physics from the University of British Columbia where she developed methods for using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to non-invasively measure concentrations of chemicals in human brain. As a part-time Researcher in Physics at UBC, she continues to work with physicists, radiologists, dermatologists, endocrinologists and neurologists to answer biological questions with physical techniques. Throughout her academic career, Elana has engaged in science outreach—bringing the excitement of scientific inquiry to the general public. Elana currently serves as President of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) to encourage and promote women and girls to engage in science.

Elana was able to attend “Crossing Perspectives on Gender and Physics” thanks to Jade Project funding for travel support.


Thursday, February 12, 2009 - 12:30 to 13:30





When: to

Where: ICICS 238 - 2366 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4

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