Friday, June 30, 2006

Women in Science Update

(A periodic survey of news and writing about women in science)

1. The InterAcademy Council, an international group composed of members of 90 national academies has just released a report on "women for science."
"On the whole, the disproportionately small number of women in the science and technology (S&T) enterprise, particularly in leadership positions, is a major hindrance to strengthening science capacity worldwide. Immediate action is needed to help remedy the underrepresentation of women in scientific and technical fields."
Their finding: The national academies should take steps to increase the ranks of women within their organizations. Science (subscription required) has a nice summary.

2. Janet Stemwedel over at "Adventures in Ethics and Science" has a post about Japan's efforts to use women science "angels" to inspire more girls to choose the sciences.

3. Ms. PhD over at YoungFemaleScientist had a recent post on women scientists who refuse to work for female PIs, yet want to run their own lab. A little hypocrisy anyone?

Anything else I missed?


Propter Doc said...">Post-PhD Blues: Denise Denton

Mmm. I'd include this very sad story.

We want more women in academic positions, this is great. But they need to be just as good as the men. We mean that we want to even the playing field so gender specific barriers no longer exist.

I get scared by the female academic thing, and I asked my former PhD supervisor why there weren't many in the UK. His response was simple - women do not apply for the academic posts. And too often, those who do are too busy playing the 'I'm female so you should employ me (and I don't need to try in the interview for this reason' card, rather than the 'I am a committed scientist who is capable of establishing themself as a researcher, and successfully navigating academia' card.

Caprill said...

Is the picture at the top of your site from the Lower Arctic?

ScienceWoman said...

Propter doc - thanks for the link. I'd forgotten about Denise Denton (very sad, indeed). This is what happens when I try to do things from memory.

Caprill - Close. It is from the High Arctic.

Ms.PhD said...

You know, it's funny. I'm connected to a UC school, so we got all these announcements saying how sad to lose Denise so 'suddenly' but I didn't know anything about her, and no one ever uttered the word 'suicide.'

We had several suicides when I was in grad school, and it was the same deal there. Instead of taking the opportunity to set up support services and encourage discussion about whether school was too stressful or what could have been the cause, it was all treated like an unspeakable sin instead of a disease.

I really wish people could just get a clue and talk about it. It's a lot worse than the way people used to whisper the word cancer, because the whole key to preventing suicide is TALKING!

BTW, that's complete bullshit about women not applying for academic posts or playing the "I'm female so you should employ me" card. Ask for statistics on how many women applied and what their qualifications were. Mark my words: most places that make claims about not getting enough applicants had PLENTY of good women to choose from, and they will not give you the statistics if you ask for them.

Propter Doc said...

You're entitled to your opinion Ms PhD, however the scenario I describe is one I have experienced directly, and you are incorrect in your statement that it is BS. There were no good women for the search committee to choose from, and choosing a female who believes she is entitled to be subject to lower standards because of her gender is one of the most pitiful manifestations of the culture of entitlement I have ever experienced. L

Propter Doc said...
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