University of Dundee

Artists' Talk: "Doing Science in a Gendered World"

Event Date: 
Monday, July 23, 2018 - 12:30 to 13:30
Event Location: 
Murray Seminar Room
Event Speaker: 
Kira O’Reilly, Clara Ursitti and Ker Wallwork

A sharing of practice by artists Kira O’Reilly, Clara Ursitti and Ker Wallwork followed by an open discussion.

This event is part of the project "Doing Science in a Gendered World"; an event, workshop and exhibition (Feb-April 2019) organised by LifeSpace and School of Life Sciences Athena SWAN.

How might we trouble the ways we are accustomed to ‘see’ or ‘position’ gender in bodies? When might the infrastructure of an organisation create a gendered experience? Where can we find the ‘in between’ spaces that create more complex and truer understandings of gender and how people experience it differently? Does our behaviour assume something of another person because of their gender? When do we perform so-called masculinity or femininity in order to move forward in a situation.

The title "doing science in a gendered world" is a quote by mathematical biologist and feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller from the 1980s. She was making a case for the importance of who was identifying areas of scientific research, the gendering of language in scientific processes and the infrastructures that had meant that historically, science was typically a field where men worked. The intention of the quote is to highlight that the discussion isn’t simply about ‘women in science’ but recognising that behaviours and organisational systems can influence who does, or continues to do, science.

’Doing science’ here refers to the collaborative work that is carried out by teams including scientists, technicians, building managers, public engagement officers and administrators. The artists involved in this discussion have all entered into scientific organisations as part of the process of making their artistic work.