“Does the brain have a gender?” | by Catherine VIDAL | January 24

Thursday, 24 January 2013 – 4.30 p.m.
Globe of Science and Innovation
Route de Meyrin, 1211 Geneva

Lecture will be in French - Translation available in English
Suitable for all audiences – Admission free
Limited number of seats - registration is essential
Reservation: +41 22 767 76 76 or cern.reception@cern.ch

With the advances in neuroscience, we might be tempted to believe that clichés about differences between the brains of men and women are a thing of the past. But the media and magazines continue to trot out the old clichés about men and women, leading us to believe that our skills and our personalities are hardwired into immutable mental structures. However, progress in research in this area demonstrate the contrary: thanks to its formidable properties of malleability, the brain is constantly creating new neuronal circuits as we pass through our apprenticeship of life and acquire experience. Boys and girls, brought up differently, may demonstrate divergences in the way their brains work, but this does not mean that these differences are present in the brain since birth or that they are immutable! The purpose of this lecture is to explain the role of biology but also the influence of social and cultural environment in the construction of our identities as men and women.

Catherine Vidal is a neurobiologist and research director at the Institut Pasteur. She also devotes her time to disseminating scientific knowledge through publications, lectures and the media. She is a member of the Institut Emilie du Châtelet, of the Mission pour la place des femmes at the CNRS, of the Laboratoire de l’Egalité and of the Association "Femmes et Sciences". She was awarded the Légion d'Honneur (Chevalière) in 2009.


Lecture organised by CERN’s Diversity Programme