When we discuss “male” and “female,” what are we talking about? Chromosomes? Hormones? Behavior? Society? On Monday, September 29, Barnard College welcomed a panel of distinguished scientists for a discussion on sex differences and similarities in science, medicine, and society. They explored questions such as, what kind of data do we use, and how do we interpret evidence? What is the purpose of using sex as a variable?

The panel was moderated by Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist Natalie Angier '78, with participants including Prof. Art Arnold from UCLA’s department of integrative biology and physiology; Prof. Daphna Joel from Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience; Prof. Rebecca Jordan-Young, Barnard’s Tow Associate Professor and chair of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and Prof. Rae Silver, Barnard’s Helene L. and Mark N. Kaplan Professor of Natural and Physical Sciences.

Below, watch the full event, or follow the links to jump to individual panelist perspectives. 

Journalist Natalie Angier '78

Professor Art Arnold 

Professor Rae Silver

Professor Rebecca Jordan-Young

Professor Daphna Joel

Panel Q&A