Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Bias at early stage April 23, 2014

Filed under: academia,bias,science — Jender @ 12:25 pm

A fascinating new study examined rates of response to emailed requests for a meeting by prospective PhD students. Here’s what they found:

[T]he researchers found that there was virtually no difference in the rate of response when prospective students asked for an immediate meeting. But when they tried to schedule one in a week, white males were 26% more likely to successfully schedule a meeting and 16% more likely to receive a response. While white males were more likely to get a response if they asked to meet in a week rather than the same day, female and minority students had a better response rate when they asked to meet immediately. The response rate for women and minorities was 14 percentage points higher at public institutions than at private schools. Further, a $13,000 increase in a faculty member’s salary was associated with a four percentage point drop in the email response rate to women and minorities, but faculty salary had no such effect on white males.

Really fascinating, and important for philosophers to bear in mind as we try to make our field less white and male. (Thanks, S!)

 

Daily Mail Really Unable to Cope April 5, 2014

Filed under: bias,race,science — Jender @ 5:25 am

with scientists who are women of colour. (I know: you’re shocked.)

UPDATE: There’s now a petition, created by the UCL branch of the UCU.

A piece in the Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column on Wednesday used their appearance on BBC’s Newsnight on Monday to comment on the possibility of a new era in understanding the origins of the universe to have a dig at the programme’s “Guardian-trained editor, Ian Katz”, who, it said, “is keen on diversity”.

The item added: “So, two women were invited to comment on the report about (white, male) American scientists who’ve detected the origins of the universe – giggling Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Sri Lanka-born astronomer Hiranya Peiris.”

For more, go here.

 

Is the oculus rift sexist? March 29, 2014

Filed under: science,technology — hippocampa @ 9:32 am

3D IMAXYet another biological difference between men and women in the brain?

danah boyd wrote an interesting piece in Quartz about her observations that men and women prioritise different depth cues. She has personal experience in a CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment that made her puke and she can’t see IMAX movies.

In short: artificial 3D environments, depth cues have to be programmed in. There are a lot of depth cues, and we don’t need all, but motion parallax is pretty easy to render in 3D, so that gets in. Motion parallax, according to boyd, is the one men’s brains pick out as the most important cue, but women prioritise on shape-from-shading, which is a lot more complicated. Therefore, for men in general, 3D environments work well, but for women, the poor rendering of shape-from-shading causes disorientation and nausea. This phenomenon may also be related to why some transsexuals experience strange visual side effects from their treatment.

If this is the case, there is indeed a problem with 3D technology. dana points out that a lot more research is needed.

I have been in the CAVE of the Centrum for Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam which  was totally awesome, and a very rare experience. No nausea experienced. However, IMAX theatres have been around for quite a while and are common. Some people do indeed experience motion sickness with them, but shouldn’t it have come to light by now if this was something particularly affecting women?

HT to Hank Greely for bringing this to my attention.

 

Athene Donald on Women in Science March 21, 2014

Filed under: bias,science — Jender @ 3:25 pm

with an excellent modest proposal:

So let me offer a new recommendation to add to that made by the MPs. I propose that every MBA course in the country should have an unconscious bias element included, and taking some relevant training should be an expectation of anyone involved in recruitment of any kind. I would also like to see it included as a topic in the school curriculum, a place to start a dialogue among children so that they can identify their own propensities to gender-stereotyping.

 

Stereotype threat and philosophy December 6, 2013

Filed under: bias,science,teaching,women in philosophy — Jender @ 1:57 pm

A discussion over at Crooked Timber.

 

People are still saying this?? December 4, 2013

Filed under: bias,science — Jender @ 2:57 pm

Sigh.

Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.

Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women’s brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men’s brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions.

Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men’s brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

Mr Jender, who sent the link to me, writes:

Now, my very basic understanding of neuroscience is that connections are drawn through experience; so that if, say, a young child were raised to value social relationships above all, that child’s brain scans would likely show those parts associated with that trait lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. In other words, wouldn’t this study just show the effects of what we place as values for individuals throughout their lives?

It seems to me Mr Jender is likely to be right. Looking forward to the Bad Science column sure to be published on this in the same newspaper this version is from.

 

Sexism, STEM, and Internet Bullying December 3, 2013

Emily Graslie of The Brain Scoop talks about creepy, sexist, internet comments, what it’s like to be a woman in STEM related internet content creation, and what we can (begin) to do about it.

 

 

Sandra Harding Interviewed July 25, 2013

Filed under: feminist philosophy,gender,religion,science — philodaria @ 1:59 am

Over at the Ms. Magazine blog, on secularism, philosophy science, and religion (with a bonus one-minute introduction to standpoint theory). Go check it out!

 

Sylvia Earle: Oceanographer, Conservationist, and Scientist Extraordinaire June 19, 2013

Filed under: awards,bias,environmental issues,health,science — David Slutsky @ 3:12 pm

On June 13, the National Geographic Society awarded Sylvia Earle the Hubbard Medal, their highest honor, “for distinction in exploration, discovery and research”.

On June 14, National Geographic “asked Sylvia to discuss her experiences as a woman in a field previously considered a man’s world”.

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We can also find this three minute discussion embedded in a National Geographic News Watch piece (by Jane J. Lee) titled:
In Her Words: Sylvia Earle on Women in Science (click here for the news piece)
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Earle’s 2009 Ted Prize talk (reminding us about little things like action necessary to avoid extinction)

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Mission Blue (Sylvia Earle alliance)-click here!
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Plenty of excellent video clips available on the interwebs. This one seems very good:
Sylvia Earle: Legendary Explorer Fights to Save Underwater Paradise

 

Stereotype threat: scaling up the interventions May 22, 2013

Filed under: bias,gender stereotypes,race,science — Jender @ 8:36 pm

Great stuff.

For example:

A controlled, incremental and systematic approach to the application of interventions is a possible path to scaling up interventions. For example, PERTS(http://www.perts.net/home/PERTS.php), created by doctoral students Dave Paunesku and Carissa Romero of the Department of Psychology at Stanford University, features such an approach. This method uses the Internet to deliver interventions to students. Teachers volunteer to have their students go to computer terminals to complete the interventions in a standardized fashion on designated days. As the procedure for delivering the interventions is highly controlled, the treatment message is given as intended, minimizing the potential for error. Interventions delivered in this manner have yielded reliable increases in GPA in studies of thousands of students across the country—particularly for low-performing ones.

 

 
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