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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

talking. Smile!

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.