These categories and the reasons we think about femininity and masculinity in the way that we do is not because of biology, it's because of the ways in which cultures have taught us to think about these things and these ideas have been used to hinder women much more than they’ve been used to free us.
As we move beyond the pseudoscientific ideas of the past, what mistakes are scientists and doctors still making when they think about sex and gender?
On International Women's Day 2021, British science journalist and author, Angela Saini, joined leading cancer researcher and founder of the STEMMinist Book club, Caroline Ford for a conversation about bias in science, medicine and the public understanding of gender, and how to build a more accurate picture of human difference.
The Centre for Ideas’ international conversation series brings the world to Sydney. Each digital event brings a leading UNSW thinker together with their international peer or hero to explore inspiration, new ideas and discoveries.
Angela Saini presents science programmes on the BBC, and her writing has appeared in New Scientist, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and Wired. Her 2019 book, Superior: The Return of Race Science, was named a book of the year by The Telegraph, Nature and Financial Times. Her previous book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, has been translated into 13 languages. Angela studied Engineering at the University of Oxford and was a Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Caroline Ford is passionate about science communication and enhancing the health literacy of the wider community. In 2017 she was named as an inaugural ‘Superstar of STEM’ by Science & Technology Australia. She is a cancer researcher at within UNSW Sydney’s School of Women's and Children's Health at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre. She leads the Gynaecological Cancer Research Group which aims to understand why gynaecological cancers develop, how and why they spread throughout the body, and how best to treat them.