Friday links

From Jeremy:

NSF remains closed due to the partial US federal government shutdown, but continues to accept proposals in accordance with published deadlines. More information from the NSF website. Hope that this is resolved soon, not least so that the employees of NSF and other shuttered agencies can get paid.

How often do papers in the leading journals in every scholarly field cite, and get cited by, papers in the others? Here’s the answer in the form of an addictive interactive map. I was struck by how some EEB journals cite and are cited by journals in various other fields (e.g., Am Nat), but others are connected almost exclusively to other ecology journals (e.g., Functional Ecology, JAE).

A nice graph of data on the gender balance of US PhDs awarded in 2016-17, by broadly-defined field. These data were familiar to me, and I’m guessing to most of you, but in case you’re interested I wanted to pass them along. The striking thing about these data to me is the heterogeneity among fields. The only broad fields in which recently-awarded PhDs are approximately gender-balanced are biological sciences, arts & humanities, and business. Everything else is either quite male-skewed (engineering, physical and earth sciences, mathematics), or quite female-skewed (health sciences, social & behavioral sciences, public administration, education).

Data on average class size as an example of selection effects.

5 thoughts on “Friday links

  1. Does the gender skew of PhDs reflect bias in those fields, or does it bear on the nature/nurture argument? Or perhaps the.biases in those fields are an expression of the nature of gender?

      • I’m not sure we know that! I’m surprised you would say that. While as far as I know theres nothing about nature that dictates ability, that doesn’t exclude *preference* which was the idea behind my question. I read an interesting article in scientific American where studies of capuchin monkeys showed that female monkeys prefered “girl” toys and male monkeys prefered “boy” toys.

        I know many women who have tried to steer daughters away from Barbie to no avail.

        IMO theres a great deal about nature that strongly suggests men and women have gender-based preferences. It’s hard for me to imagine that would be a controversial concept. But again that doesn’t mean PhD stats are driven by that . But they could be.

      • That the gender balance of PhD recipients in many fields has changed quite a lot in a couple of generations or less is one illustration of how little “nature” has to do with it.

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