CCL: ICQC shame

 Sent to CCL by: "Clark, Aurora" [auclark#,]
 It is important to point out that this issue is much broader than
 merely including women in major theoretical conferences, it is about the
 repercussions of not including them and the implications to our field by
 maintaining a status quo that is closed minded. It is multifaceted, but
 inherently about the growth and development of theoretical chemistry as a
 discipline and not really about gender at all.
 Omitting women from major conferences affects a very large swath of
 scientist's careers, not only politically, but also in terms of the
 recognition and distribution of the new work they produce and in the
 recruitment and education of talented young people that are badly needed
 in any discipline in order for it to keep its relevance to the
 ever-changing tides of federal funding and an evolving scientific
 It is harder for scientists to get promoted if they are not invited to
 conferences where they are unable to network with potential collaborators,
 program officers, and reviewers of their dossiers. Networking works both
 ways, in that not only does it help the female scientist, but also the
 collaborator...what if you miss out on the next best algorithm for solving
 some complicated numerical problem because you had no opportunity to see a
 poster or talk from said female scientist? What if you pay for a grad
 student to work on this complicated numerical problem and end up paying
 valuable research dollars for this student to solve a problem that has
 already been addressed? What if the next Einstein is an undergrad working
 in your group and she decides she wants to go into Biology because she
 doesn't see anyone that respects her ideas or believes in her potential?
 One of the beautiful things about conferences is that they provide a
 platform for showcasing a large group of people working on a problem. If
 you omit an entire population, then you not only hurt those you omit, but
 also yourself and your own opportunities to learn and develop
 a research program, not to mention recruiting new talent to our programs.
 Without these things we degrade our field and eventually, it might not
 matter anymore because no one will see the value in pure, non-applied,
 theoretical chemistry anymore anyways.
 So - I view this string not merely about echoing the chorus of how
 terrible it is that there may be discrimination in our discipline, but
 also in the health and development of theoretical chemistry and what our
 field will look like 20 or 50 years from now.
 Aurora Clark
 Associate Professor
 Department of Chemistry
 Washington State University
 Pullman, Wa 99164
 Ph: 509-335-3362
 Fax: 509-335-8867
 On 2/15/14 2:57 PM, "Kadir Diri dirikadir[a]"
 <owner-chemistry[-]> wrote:
 >Sent to CCL by: Kadir Diri [dirikadir ~]
 >Dear Colleagues,
 >I am posting this message on behalf of professor Anna Krylov -one of the
 >many outstanding women in theoretical chemistry- regarding the choice of
 >speakers for the upcoming ICQC conference.
 >I would always like to think of us, scientists, as some of the leading
 >figures in the fight for gender equality. I wish the choice of speakers
 >for this conference was just a statistical abnormality. Even that would
 >be unacceptable...
 >Professor Krylov's message follows below.
 >Best regards,
 >Dear Colleague:
 >It happened again ---  another major theoretical chemistry conference
 >features an all-male program. One of us began boycotting such
 >conferences 14 years ago and can't believe that 14 years later we are
 >still seeing such overt discrimination. This time it is the 15th
 >International Congress of Quantum Chemistry (ICQC,
 > conducted under the auspices of
 >Academy of Quantum Molecular Science  (, which will
 >be held in Beijing, China. As of 02/15/2014, the program features 24
 >invited speakers and 5 chairs and honorary chairs and does not include a
 >single woman.
 >Are there no women in theoretical chemistry? Hardly. The Women in
 >Theoretical Chemistry web-directory (
 >lists more than 300 female scientists holding tenured and tenure track
 >academic positions or equivalent positions in industry and other
 >research establishments pursuing research in theoretical and
 >computational chemistry, biochemistry, material science, as well as
 >theoretical molecular/atomic physics and biophysics. Many of these women
 >are far more distinguished than many of the men being invited to speak
 >at these conferences.
 >Feeling as fed up and frustrated as we do? Add your voice to ours by
 >signing this open letter ( denouncing this biased
 >practice, which we had hoped would be obsolete long ago (it will take
 >less than a minute).
 >Thank you for your for your support.
 >Prof. Emily Carter, Princeton University
 >Prof. Laura Gagliardi, University of Minnesota
 >Prof. Anna Krylov, University of Southern California>