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UCD Women@STEM x UCD Japan Joint Symposium

UCD Women@STEM network kicks off new phase with successful diversity event in collaboration with UCD Japan

12 November 2018

On the occasion of her visit to Ireland, Professor Yuko Takahashi, President, Tsuda University gave a keynote lecture at The Diversity in STEM event in UCD, together with H.E. Ambassador Mrs Mari Miyoshi. This is the third talk on the same theme of Women Leaders in Science and Society in Japan and Ireland. The first one was given by Prof. Reiko Kuroda & Ambassador Miyoshi June 2016 in UCD, and the second symposium was held at Tsuda University, Tokyo in November 2017. The latter was given by Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and former Ambassador of Ireland to Japan, Ms Anne Barrington. Professor Takahashi of Tsuda University was invited almost one year later.   

The Diversity in STEM event, held in the George Moore Auditorium in the O’Brien Centre for Science on Monday November 12, attracted over 200 people. The event was opened by College Principal for Science, Professor Joe Cathy and attended by Registrar & Deputy President, Professor Mark Rogers. Assistant Professor Jennifer Mitchell (School of Biomolecular & Biomedcial Science) spoke about the achievements of the UCD Women in Science (WiTS) committee. WiTS contributed towards the successful acquisition of UCD’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award. Dr Antonella Ferrecchia (Insight Centre for Data Analytics) Co-Chair of the new UCD Women@STEM committee officially announced the relaunch of the group with Co-Chair Dr Sharon Shannon (UCD School of Physics).

The event also featured a panel discussion on promoting women in higher education and research, with contributions from Assistant Professor Fiona McGillicuddy, Professor Gerardine Meany, Assistant Professor Saoirse Tracy and Director Triona McCormack. Each panellist brought a unique perspective to the conversation, ranging from Dr McGillicuddy’s experience of taking maternity leave while spearheading a major Wellcome Trust research grant, to Prof. Meany’s illustrious career researching and writing about the representation of women in Irish public life.

The Japanese Ambassador Mrs Miyoshi spoke to the representation female leaders in political life and the recent developments in parliaments and cabinets in Japan, Ireland and France. The keynote speaker, Prof. Takahashi gave a talk entitled ‘Umeko Tsuda’s Contributions to Modern Japan: A Pioneering Woman Educator and Her Transnational Collaboration’, outlining Tsuda’s remarkable life and outstanding achievements in promoting women’s participation in higher education. A twice, Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University and at Wellesley College, Prof. Takahshi stressed the importance of transnational collaboration in fostering future female leaders.


​The event was funded by UCD College of Science and Insight Centre for Data Analytics in UCD and the organisation was overseen by UCD Women@STEM executive committee and UCD_Japan through Co-Chairs Dr Kodate (School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice) and Associate Professor Emma Sokell (School of Physics). ​H.E. Mrs Miyoshi welcomed the organisers to her residence after the event during which future collaboration between UCD and Tsuda University was discussed.