Larry Summers, former President of Harvard University, famously outraged female colleagues when he declared that men outperform women in math and sciences due, in no small part, to the biological differences between the sexes. Summers went on to note that barriers to women’s advancement in such fields lay not within institutionalized discrimination itself, but rather, “issues of intrinsic aptitude.” In the wake of such incendiary remarks, a number of compelling studies have sought to explore the role of sexism and gender discrimination within the historically male-dominated STEM fields.
One such study, appearing in the Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, raised a fascinating question central to this fireside chat – “Do Patents Have Gender?” According to UC Irvine Professor Dan L. Burk, the question can be raised as to whether the science behind patents is inherently misogynistic, and therefore a major sticking point in promoting women’s opportunities for advancement. Our expert panel will discuss whether or not blatant (or more subtle) institutional biases exist for women in intellectual property. What are some of the most common challenges facing women in STEM and IP? What solutions or strategic responses are available to help overcome these barriers?
Muriel E. Poston, Ph.D., Division Director, Division of Biological Infrastructure, Biological Science Doctorate, National Science Foundation
Tracy-Gene G. Durkin, Director, Mechanical and Design Patent Group, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, P.L.L.C.
The Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee, United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Victoria Phillips, Professor of the Practice of Law, Director, Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, American University, Washington College of Law
Theresa Rea, Partner & Vice Chair, Intellectual Property Group, Crowell & Moring LLP
Ama Romaine, General Counsel, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory