The FEMMSS Association Mission and Aims, and the Norms of the FEMMSS 7 conference in particular, are outlined below.

We’re so looking forward to having you join us!

FEMMSS is a multidisciplinary organization founded in 2004. The central aims of FEMMSS include the encouragement of networking and collaboration among scholars in diverse fields; the development of analytic and pedagogical skills to aid such interdisciplinary work; the support of women and other underrepresented scholars in the various humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, and the sharing of strategies for facilitating their success; and the mentoring of junior scholars.

FEMMSS focuses particularly on work that examines how issues of disability, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and other areas of difference shape our understandings of the world, including science scholarship, participation, policies, outcomes, and practice.

FEMMSS has a strong commitment to work that crosses boundaries among disciplines and between the academy and the public.

Norms of Behavior at the Conference

Insofar as this conference is successful in meeting these aims, above, then we are likely to find ourselves learning from scholars who bring intellectual and social perspectives with which we are unfamiliar, and thus we are likely to make mistakes of a variety of kinds. Let’s do our best to be gracious with our less than skillful moments, pose comments and questions constructively rather than destructively, and make amends for the kinds of mistakes we make that are harmful, offensive, or destructive. Let’s remind ourselves that all of the issues of oppression central to FEMMSS scholarship have been systematically designed to keep us bewildered and perplexed; that keeping our analytic skills on target is exhausting under the best conditions; that conference travel does not qualify even as a good let alone a best condition; and the work is hard.

Conference Ombudspeople

Regardless of our best efforts (or our less than best as the case may be) we may need the help of colleagues to serve as ombudspeople who can receive confidential reports of inappropriate behavior and can work with the organizers to navigate appropriate responses. We are fortunate that two FEMMSS 7 participants are familiar with the ombuds role and have agreed to serve as ombudspeople for us. They are are Catherine Womack and Dan Hicks and they will have “Ombudsperson” designated on their nametags. We will also have an informal session on Sat. scheduled for people who want to serve in this capacity in future conferences.

The need for and designation of conference ombuds people was inspired by a similar program utilized by Matt Brown at the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology at UT Dallas – thanks Matt!

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