“A new study from Social Studies of Science… reveals that when men chair committees that select scientific awards recipients, males win the awards more than 95% of the time. This new study also reports that while in the past two decades women have begun to win more awards for their scientific achievements, compared to men, they win more service and teaching awards and fewer prestigious scholarly awards than would be expected based on their representation in the nomination pool.”
“Women’s scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued”
This is a problem. The authors of the study don’t argue that there’s a sexist conspiracy to prevent the ascent of women, and I wouldn’t either. But the findings mean that we have to take into account the bias that undoubtedly exists in our society, and which scientists aren’t immune from.
1:01 pm |
May 12 2012
| 608 notes
Birth control shots may double risk of HIV
A birth control shot, popular in eastern and southern Africa, has been shown to double the risk of picking up HIV. The shot is convenient and effective, given once every three months and used by 12 million African women. It may, however, come with a sinister side effect. The shot also increases the risk that men will pick up HIV from their female partners if they are infected. The findings, if they hold up to scrutiny, spell trouble for public health officials in Africa, who must contend with both high HIV and pregnancy rates.
10:11 am |
October 5 2011
| 51 notes
A follow-up to my post about women in science
Earlier this week, I received a question about how to get more women involved in science. The responses were much larger than I expected, and overwhelmingly positive, and I’m very thankful for those that did respond.
I’d like to quickly highlight some of the best responses I received. Thanks to dhstjean, miranatee, andromedalogic, vegetablestew, liointrouble, etherealcure, ladyenterprise, and indigocrayon for your insights, stories, and advice. Jdbtr passed along this excellent article from HuffPo, and fitzkillabitch suggested this great comic from XKCD. Drakonlily wrote an entire Wordpress entry entitled ‘LadyScience’. Finally, my IRL friend Lily passed along some great advice: while it’s good to highlight the accomplishments of women scientists, it’s important not to make a distinction between ‘scientist’ and ‘woman scientist.’
There are also those that, while I believe they meant to respond positively, said something along the lines of “if it’s what you really love, you’ll pursue it anyway.” I just want to note that the entire reason anon originally wrote in was because of a niece who gave up on science because she was told it wasn’t for her. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of our surroundings and our socialization to shape our psyche, as Simon pointed out.
Thanks again to everyone that gave their input.
7:39 pm |
July 30 2011
| 48 notes
As women get more education, childhood mortality declines
Health researchers have found that, across the world, women’s education and declining child mortality rates correlate strongly. Education accounts for a massive 51% of global reduced mortality, according to the study.
10:15 am |
June 22 2011
| 265 notes
Crap Psychologist May Lose Job Over Racist Article
First Lawrence Summers, now Satoshi Kanazawa? This is absurd. There is nothing that is outside the boundaries of legitimate academic discourse except bad science and non-science. Nothing. If a scientist were to show, in a legitimate study, that a certain group is somehow inferior in some way, that scientist could not legitimately be fired, no matter how many people got their little feelings hurt because of it. Scientific inquiry takes precedence over anyone’s self-esteem.
The one objection I’ve heard to Kanazawa’s study, besides the misreading of conjectures as conclusions and the aforementioned bawling about hurt feelings, is that black women are only considered unattractive because whites somehow ‘control’ standards of beauty. Well, let’s look at some data on that: (this obviously isn’t strictly representative, but it’s the best that I can do with what I know is available; anyone know of better data?)
Most races on the chart have reply rates around 42, meaning that men respond to their messages around 42% of the time on average. Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander women have reply rates a few percentage points higher than 42; if whites control the standards of beauty, one would expect white women to get the highest reply rate. Also, Hispanics have essentially the same reply rate as whites, going against the hypothesis that beauty is related to the perceived status of a race. The only race on the chart with a reply rate below 42 is black, as Kanazawa predicted, and they almost universally have the lowest reply rate.
There are a whole host of criticisms of Kanazawa that show he is a shoddy, dishonest, and incompetent academic - aside from the fact that he’s a contemptible human being. To respond to the data Kanazawa used - just because a metric has a number attached to it does not mean that it is objective or reproducible in any way. Considering that beauty is entirely socialized, I would suspect it would be nearly impossible to reproduce Kanazawa’s results. The fact is that Kanazawa’s findings are both offensive and unscientific and have no place in scientific discourse.
3:31 am |
May 23 2011
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Science and Feminism
sometimes feminists really irritate me. of course i embrace the overall belief that everyone should be equal regardless of sex/gender/orientation/lifestyle. but just like, the overall attitude of feminists is really snarky and annoying and they think they can just ignore science. you can’t ignore science. i think all the feminists would be a lot better off if they took a course in evolutionary biology.
Feminists who studied evolutionary biology would, of course, learn about the complete arbitrariness of genders, dominance, and hierarchy in nature.
1:30 pm |
March 4 2011
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‘Feminine’ science catches girls’ interest
Girls showed considerably more interest in topics such as “how a laser is used in cosmetic surgery” and “how to calculate the probability of a miscarriage” than in topics such as “how to calculate the force a rocket needs to take off” and “how to calculate the probability of a car accident.” One of the authors, Dr. Sylvie Kerger, said that girls were more interested in social and real contexts such as the decline of forests whereas boys clearly found mechanics and technology more compelling.
MEMO TO ALL: This is not good science.
9:39 pm |
March 3 2011
| 13 notes