Prof. Clare Tempany
MICCAI Daily: Thursday
went to the baseball games. Slowly, I
started learning a lot about baseball.
Now, when I go to any meeting,
anytime, and they’re talking about
baseball, I immediately join the
conversation and talk about it. It’s
silly, completely silly. Then they say,
oh she likes the Red Sox. We make
jokes about the teams or we fight
about the teams.
So you’re one of the guys?
Yes, a little bit. Seriously, find
something like this that the men
always talk about at work. Often it’s
sports. Even if you don’t know what
the sport is about, in your town, in
your city, learn about the local ones.
Sometimes women try too hard to
talk about work, and nobody wants
to talk about work all of the time.
Have something neutral and safe.
Not just the weather, and certainly
not politics because it’s too crazy.
One of the things I hear in my
interviews is that they feel
uncomfortable when they are the
only woman in a meeting.
Yes, of course, but they have
to get over that. It still happens to
me today. I am still the only woman
sometimes, but you have to forget
this and be confident.
When I am the only man in a
meeting with all women, I feel very
When you are comfortable in
your own skin, you are happy talking
to anyone. I can tell from your
personality. That’s nice, and you like
The world is a very scary place
sometimes, and we have problems
with general xenophobia or not liking
people who are different. At the
moment, it’s very frightening. We
have to compensate for that.
A person is a person. I think just be
polite and friendly. Just like when you
met me in the elevator. I didn’t know
who you were, but you had a big
smile so I said hello, and we started
My son is taking a course right now,
on the Science of Happiness. They’re
teaching him, and it sounds crazy, but
a lot of it is just about smiling. The
smile is the first thing that people see
on your face. Not whether you are
beautiful or handsome or you are
well-dressed, it’s your smile. They
said it’s very important to smile as
much as possible. Then people are
more likely to say hello to you.
I think that if I want to make
people happier, I smile at them and
they will feel more comfortable.
Sure, and then people drop
their guard a little bit.
They will like it actually: there
is no reason to feel under pressure
because a stranger is in your elevator.
I smile in the same way to someone
who is very well known in the
industry and to someone who is
coming to MICCAI for the first time.
That’s a great way to be, but a
lot of people are not like this. They’re
shy, and shyness is a real problem,
especially in computer science. The
computer nerds are more used to
screens than to people. You have to
learn a little bit to come out of your
shell, if you’re going to succeed in
this kind of business.