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Event Series: METIS Lecture

Data is Not Neutral: Gender and Generalizability in Research Methodology

The partners of METIS warmly invite you to the third annual METIS Lecture


Thu., Dec. 8, 2022
2:00pm - 4:00pm


Figure:Left: Jenny Davis (Photo courtesy of Jenny Davis). Right: Kathryn Clancy (Photo by Joanna Strauss).

For a long time, most human subjects research was performed primarily on white men. This was especially the case for research intended to be generalizable towards everyone. To address this bias, many funding agencies now have policies that require gender equality, by which they mean that women and men should be included in all generalizable research (e.g., drug treatment trials, brain imaging, exercise physiology). However, this bias correction reinforces two problematic ideas: that sex is binary and that sex difference is attributable to biological difference. Policy change that doesn’t address the history and context that led to biased sample populations only exposes bias and doesn’t fix it. So how do we include the variables of sex and gender in a way that allows us to uncover the many ways it can complicate, enhance, and broaden our understanding? And how can we show that there are times when research on women and gender diverse people actually produces the most generalizable findings?

In this year’s METIS Lecture, Professor Kathryn Clancy and Professor Jenny Davis will offer case studies across several disciplines to show how gender and sex are entangled, and enrich scholarly study. They will then suggest several queer feminist interventions into problem definition, data collection, and data interpretation towards a broader recognition of how all data are relevant — not only those that fall within a "normal range" but outliers and even those from excluded categories.

Kathryn Clancy is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her laboratory investigates the effects of environmental stressors on women and gender minorities. She was named to the Nature 10 in 2013 and has won several awards for her publicly engaged research on gender and harassment. Her book Period: The Real Story of Menstruation will be released on April 18, 2023 in the US from Princeton University Press.

Jenny L. Davis is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she is the director of the American Indian Studies Program. She is the recipient of two book prizes for her books Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance and Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality. Her 2022 poetry manuscript, Trickster Academy, was published in the University of Arizona Press Sun Tracks Series, and her creative work has been published widely.

Please register with by Monday, 5 December to receive a Zoom invitation

METIS is all about equal opportunities in academia. The website provides advice on how to promote gender equality and family friendliness at research alliances at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It's regularly updated with news about upcoming equal opportunities events, suggestions for how research projects can make use of DFG gender equality funds, best practice examples from participating partners, and more. METIS is financed by 20 research alliances.


GeCo-GenderConsulting for Research Alliances

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Office of the Central Womens Representative

Unter den Linden 6

10099 Berlin

Further information

Organizer: METIS
Speakers: Prof. Kathryn Clancy and Prof. Jenny L. Davis

Further information on the event's website


Henrike Voigtländer
Phone: 030 2093-12836

Room: via zoom