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June 8, 2010 AT 12:00 am

Daring to Discuss Women’s Potential in Science @ NYTimes.com

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Daring to Discuss Women’s Potential in Science @ NYTimes.com

The official title is “Fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering,” – This proposed law, if passed by the Senate, would require the White House science adviser to oversee regular “workshops to enhance gender equity.” At the workshops, to be attended by researchers who receive federal money and by the heads of science and engineering departments at universities, participants would be given before-and-after “attitudinal surveys” and would take part in “interactive discussions or other activities that increase the awareness of the existence of gender bias.”


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2 Comments

  1. It’s complicated. I don’t have any problem believing "The selection criteria for the 0.001% of the population that are potential candidates for hoity-toity position X genuinely favor characteristics genuinely linked with a particular race/sex/culture." The real question is whether those "selection criteria" are actually valid. My general experience with, say, faculty at Ivy League universities is that "quality" is pretty variable, highly dependent on who is doing the rating, and not necessarily directly related to "level of knowledge of the subject."

    I also don’t see how the study cited where college entrance exams were given to 7th graders contradicts the "Ceiling effect" of testing; wouldn’t it just measure people who hit the ceiling earlier? I’ve long believed that getting someplace first is not the same as being among the best (though I could be wrong…)

  2. Wow, good article! I’d be interested in comments from women scientists/engineers/mathematicians as to whether they have encountered a gender bias in education or in their careers.

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