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Outside of Our Rooms: Networking Across the Academy

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Title: Outside of Our Rooms: Networking Across the Academy
Author: Davidson, Valerie
Abstract: This document provides a comprehensive summary of an invited plenary presentation made by Dr. Valerie Davidson, NSERC/HP Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for Ontario, to the Royal Society of Canada Conference (RCSC) in Edmonton, Alberta on May 3, 2007. The conference was designed to offer an international forum for discussion of the factors within local and global cultures that can facilitate and constrain women's active participation in the knowledge economy and society. The theme of the 2007 conference was ‘Rooms of their Own – Women in the Knowledge Economy and Society.’ This theme was borrowed from Virginia Woolf’s cogent essay “A Room of One’s Own” on the unfortunate societal constrictions suffered by professional women in her time. In this 1929 essay, Wolfe predicted that women “in another century or so,” if given the opportunity and rooms of their own, would “have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think,” seeing human beings “in their relation to each other” and “in relation to reality. Drawing on these ideas, it was the goal of the RCSC conference to engage in an in-depth consideration of the situation of women in the academy. It was hoped that this would serve to increase awareness about the challenges facing women in academia, expand the knowledge base on such issues and result in the formation of practical recommendations to address them. Dr. Davidson’s presentation spoke to these themes.
Date: 2011-07-07
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