This post describes a new – and disturbing – PNAS paper documenting gender bias among scientists. Evidence of gender bias is hardly new–see, for example, the classic study by Wennerås and Wold, which showed that, when compared to the average male applicant, female applicants to the Swedish Medical Research Council had to be 2.5 times more productive to be viewed as equally competent. But this new PNAS study shows that it is still a problem in the sciences. One of the most important things to note is the women are just as biased against women in science as men. When I’ve discussed this in classes, something I encourage people to do ahead of time is to take the Project Implicit quiz on Gender and Science. One thing that research in this area suggests is important is simply being aware of one’s implicit biases, so that we can work to overcome them when evaluating applicants.
The other thing I’ve been pondering is this post by Kate Clancy on the sports psychology of academia, plus this follow up by Sci Curious, and then this follow up by Kate. In many ways, it’s about understanding what factors are outside of one’s control, and not getting overly fixated on one’s inability to control them. Rather, one should focus on being prepared for them, and how to react to them. This semester is a bit crazy for me, and I found this thinking useful – especially in thinking about some of the complexities of teaching a new (to me), giant, introductory course.
This one is for Meg, Brian, and Chris, to encourage them to stick around for the long term: why you should blog more. I mean, besides the obvious “to further embarrass me by continuing to attract way more traffic than I ever have.” ;-)