Power, gender and hubris: Success and arrogance as risks to leadership in health care and beyond


Tuesday 9 May 2017


Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

Psychiatry Section , Daedalus Trust , Medical Women's Federation


6 CPD Points

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about this event

This event is being run by the RSM Psychiatry Section in association with the Daedalus Trust and the Medical Women's Federation as part of the "Psychiatry in dialogue with neuroscience medicine and society" series.

It falls during the week of the Medical Women's Federation centenary celebrations and it will be the first of a five day event across several medical institutions as well as the House of Lords.

Professor Douglas Cairns will be lecturing on "hubris in classical myth and morality" whereas Rebecca Stephens, the first British woman to climb Everest will bring to the RSM her experiences of climbing in extreme conditions and analyse the decision-making skills needed to survive and achieve one's goals however extreme.

Professor Trevor Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, Cambridge University, has been invited to give a unique lecture on the differences between men and women from a neuroscience perspective.

Professor Kelan's lecture on micro-hubris will appeal to many keen to find out about everyday acts of hubris in the workplace.

Meeting aims and objectives:

  • To outline the historical existence of hubris through classical myth and morality
  • To define hubris in terms of power as described by a great biographer of political leaders
  • To look at decision-making in extreme circumstances with focus on Everest climbing and what can go wrong
  • To understand the neurobiology of decision making and gender influences
  • To hear experts discuss hubris and politics in relation to contemporary events

 Join the conversation online using #HubrisGender

Programme subject to change


8.45 am

Registration, tea and coffee

9.15 am

Opening of conference

Mr B Sethia, President, Royal Society of Medicine

9.20 am

Introduction on the concepts of power

Lord Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Warwick

Session 2: Power and gender

Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, President Elect, Medical Women’s Federation

11.30 am

Micro-practices of power, hubris and gender

Professor Elisabeth Kelan, Professor of Leadership and Director, Global Centre for Gender and Leadership, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University

12.00 pm

Hubris on Everest

Rebecca Stephens MBE, Director, Seven Summits Performance Ltd

12.45 pm


Session 1: Power and hubris

Professor Michael Maier, President, Psychiatry Section, RSM

9.30 am

Leadership and power: The role of history

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor, University of Buckingham

10.10 am

Hubris in classical myth and morality

Professor Douglas Cairns, Professor of Classics, University of Edinburgh

10.40 am

Question and answer session

11.00 am

Tea and coffee break

Session 3: Gender and hubris

Professor Nick Bouras, Daedalus Trust

1.30 pm

Hubris, power and gender: An anthropological perspective

Dr Farrah Jarral, GP and Broadcaster, Paddington Green Health Centre

2.00 pm

Neurobiology of decision making, gender and the exercise of power

Professor Trevor Robbins, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge

2.40 pm

Question and answer session

3.00 pm

Tea and coffee break

Session 4: Round table discussion

Professor George Ikkos, Director “Psychiatry in Dialogue with Neuroscience Medicine and Society” Psychiatry Section, RSM

3.30 pm

Discussion with audience participation on: “The exercise of power: Does gender matter?”

Dr Gwen Adshead, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Adrian James, Registrar, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Professor Parveen Kumar, Professor of Medicine and Education, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London

Professor Eugene Saddler-Smith, Daedalus Trust

4.30 pm


Dr Jacqueline Phillips-Owen, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London

4.35 pm

Summing up

The Rt Hon Lord Owen, Chairman, Daedalus Trust

4.45 pm

Completion of evaluation forms and close of meeting

4.50 pm

Psychiatry Section AGM

7.00 pm

Drinks reception in the Max Rayne Foyer

Everybody welcome

7.30 pm

Annual dinner in the ENT Room

Pre-registration required

Guest dinner speaker: From hubris to intelligent kindness

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

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organiser's details

For information on this event, contact Ruth ClovesTel: 02072902985 Email: psychiatry@rsm.ac.uk arrow