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.
Athene Donald on Women in Science March 21, 2014
Stereotype threat and philosophy December 6, 2013
People are still saying this?? December 4, 2013
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.
Sandra Harding Interviewed July 25, 2013
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!
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”.
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)
Earle’s 2009 Ted Prize talk (reminding us about little things like action necessary to avoid extinction)
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
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.
6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism May 20, 2013
6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism (by Jane J. Lee, 5/19/13, for National Geographic Daily News)
“Despite enormous progress in recent decades, women still have to deal with biases against them in the sciences.”
“…Today’s women scientists believe that attitudes have changed, said Laura Hoopes at Pomona College in California, who has written extensively on women in the sciences—’until it hits them in the face’.” Bias against female scientists is less overt, but it has not gone away.
“Here are six female researchers who did groundbreaking work—and whose names are likely unfamiliar for one reason: because they are women…”
Just some of (unfortunately many,) many relevant FP posts:
Athene Donald on unconscious bias April 7, 2013
A fantastic post.. The newest bit to me was this one:
The most recent study I came across, entitled The Matilda Effect in Science Communication: An Experiment on Gender Bias in Publication Quality Perceptions and Collaboration Interest looked at the responses of ‘243 young communication scholars’ when asked to rate some (carefully manipulated) conference abstracts. (The Matilda effect was a phrase coined by Margaret Rossiter 20 years ago to describe the systematic underrecognition of women in science.) The abstracts’ topics and authors were varied to see how the readers reacted and to test a series of hypotheses relying on ‘role congruity’. This theory says that a group (or in this case, an abstract) will be positively evaluated when its characteristics are recognized as aligning with that group’s typical social roles. So a paper written by women about a subject ‘appropriate’ to their gender, such as the effect of media on children (remember this was a project involving science communicators), will be more highly rated than one written by women on an ‘inappropriate’ topic such as political communication.
Their hypotheses were largely borne out; on average the papers written by ‘men’ were perceived as of higher quality than those written by ‘women’, and even more so if stereotypically male topics were being written about. The respondents were also more likely to want to collaborate with the males on stereotypically ‘male’ topics and with the women on those topics associated with women. These trends were the same irrespective of the respondents own gender. The differences in evaluations were not large, but as earlier studies have shown, small effects multiply up over time; this is true of salaries and it is true of less tangible attributes such as recognition or collaboration opportunities.
But do check out the whole post. There’s also a great example of some biased letter-writing. (Thanks, J!)
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin February 20, 2013
“Since her death in 1979, the woman who discovered what the universe is made of has not so much as received a memorial plaque. Her newspaper obituaries do not mention her greatest discovery. […] Every high school student knows that Isaac Newton discovered gravity, that Charles Darwin discovered evolution, and that Albert Einstein discovered the relativity of time. But when it comes to the composition of our universe, the textbooks simply say that the most abundant atom in the universe is hydrogen. And no one ever wonders how we know.”
~ Jeremy Knowles
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, a truly extraordinary woman. (Thanks, J!)