Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Is academic science sexist?

There has never been a better time for women to enter academic careers in math-intensive science fields. That’s the message Cornell University psychologist Stephen Ceci says he was hoping to get across in last Sunday’s controversial op-ed inThe New York Times, “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” co-authored by Wendy Williams, also a psychologist at Cornell. But that’s not how the article, which attempts to summarize a 67-pagepaper they co-authored with economists Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and Shulamit Kahnof Boston University, came across to some readers.

In addition to the provocative headline, statements such as “the experiences of young and midcareer women in math-intensive fields are, for the most part, similar to those of their male counterparts” and that female underrepresentation in some fields is “rooted in women’s earlier educational choices, and in women’s occupational and lifestyle preferences” sparked outcry from the blogosphere and on Twitter and prompted heated discussion within the scientific community. Those discussions have focused on whether the findings are valid, the potential implications, and the best way to move forward.
Source: Science

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