Sex in Science Activities

Sex in Science Activities

activitiestop.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

As part of the Sex in Science programme we organise a wide range of regular events and activities with the aim of engaging staff on campus.

In addition to the talk series, we host activities such as:

  • workshops
  • career days
  • discussion panels
  • debates
  • theatrical plays.

The Sex in Science programme is a joint initiative of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).



The Sex in Science programme collaborated with Biobeat 15 to host a one-day conference entitled 'Translating Genomics into Biobusiness'.

The conference explored the burgeoning opportunities for developing companies that harness the potential of genomics. Take a look at the webpage to learn more about the conference and the high-quality line up of all female speakers: Biobeat15


sis-debate2.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

As part of our series of Sex in Science events, we host campus-wide debates to encourage discussion about the key issues surrounding Women in Science.

  • In 2013 the debate topic was "This House believes that it is harder for women than men to be scientific leaders".
  • In 2014 "This House believes that it is not possible to be a scientific leader and work part-time."
  • Our most recent debate topic was " This House believes that quotas are essential to address institutional gender inequality".

The debates are very popular events and prompt lively discussions. The audience use electronic voting pads to cast their opinion on who was the more persuasive debater.

International Women's Day

sisimage.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

In March 2013 we held an event entitled 'The Female of the Species' which comprised a series of short talks from six female Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI scientists, followed by a panel discussion. The speakers shared their experiences as women in science, and how their career path had developed so far.

In March 2014 our 'Inspirational Scientists' event marked the day by hearing keynote speakers talk about the female scientists whose careers have inspired them and why, followed by questions and discussion.

In 2015 we marked the occasion by announcing the winner of the first Wellcome Genome Campus Best Practice Award for Supporting Women in Science. The recipients were Dr John Overington of EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and Ms Laura Huckins of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Ms Huckins received her award for inclusiveness and dedication to championing STEM careers; Dr Overington of EMBL-EBI received his for supporting parents by encouraging a healthy work-life balance. The awards were presented to Dr Overington and Ms Huckins by Professor Dame Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI, and Professor Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.


As well as developing the programme on campus, we are nurturing connections with external groups. Partnering with funders, policy makers, scientific societies and research institutions is a valuable opportunity to influence the wider scientific community about issues relating to gender in science.

Seminars, Workshops and Events

In addition to these annual events we organise a varied programme of monthly seminars, workshops and events focusing on pertinent topics. Recent events include:

sis-sadaf-maria-liz.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

Making the Transition to Independence - three female principal investigators, at different stages of their career, spoke about how to set up a dry and wet lab, how to recruit a good team and how to attract funding.

Mentoring lunch - a seminar outlining what is involved in mentoring, and its benefits. Members of staff could book mentoring sessions over lunch with Faculty members from the Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI.

Sex in Science 'Past, Present and Future' - a seminar outlining the Sex in Science programme to date and plans for the future.

Work-life balance workshop - as part of the 2013 activities our programme of events included a workshop that addressed the issue of Work-Life balance. Hosted by an external facilitator, the session focused on 'The Juggling Act: What to Keep and What to Give Up for Balance'.

Hidden Glory - a one-woman play giving an insight into the life of the great female scientist and Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin.


For further information contact Dr Saher Ahmed: