October 23, 2007

Recently in InsideHigherEd

Some posts on women in science:

  • Women, Science and Interdisciplinary Ways of Working by By Diana Rhoten and Stephanie Pfirman
    Despite the hype and hope for interdisciplinary research, it cannot be considered ethical or even practical to draw women into science using interdisciplinary research as the lure, if simultaneously systems of work, evaluation and promotion are not reformed to reward them for taking up the challenge.

  • Female Faculty and the Sciences by Elizabeth Redden
    Other strategies for the recruitment and retention of female faculty described at Wednesday’s hearing include offering childcare grants for professional conferences, offering flexible tenure timelines for faculty with young children, addressing salary equity issues (the NSF’s Olsen recalled an unsettling moment in her own academic history when, as the co-principal investigator on a research project, she was shocked to learn that a male postdoc assigned to her was making more money than she was), reading letters of recommendation with an attention to possible gender bias, providing extensive postdoctoral fellowship support to attract a broader applicant pool, and broadening faculty searches beyond highly specialized areas that may only have a couple graduates a year.

  • From Summers to Sommers by Andy Guess
    Lest anyone think the academic world has settled into a consensus on the status of women in the sciences during the two years since a very public controversy thrust the issue onto the national stage, Christina Hoff Sommers all but ensured vigorous debate on Monday.

    In picking the lineup for a conference called, appropriately enough, “Women and Science,” the philosophy professor, ethicist and critic of modern feminism managed to highlight just what differences persist among mainstream, respected researchers — and expose complex (and occasionally contentious) debates over nature versus nurture, the role of culture versus biology, the persistence of stereotypes and whether innate differences between the sexes really matter.


Norma said...

Some of these bright women ought to put on their thinking caps and consider what to do about the feminization of higher education. In some schools it's 60-40, women to men. In many professional schools--vet med, pharmacy, law, religion--it's higher than that.

John Dupuis said...

Norma, I agree that what you call the feminization of higher ed is an important issue but I think it's a separate issue from the barriers women face in access to science education and science careers.

John Dupuis said...

Actually John, as a science librarian I have another bone to pick with the American Chemical Society. We've been having enormous problems in our library with how the PDF articles from the ACS Web Editions digital library load (or do not load) on our Public Mac computers in our library. They frequently will not open at all (in Firefox on mac) or will open as HTML gobbledy gook in Safari. When our electronic resources librarian called ACS tech help to find out what was up, he was just summarily told "We don't support Safari or Macs in general." and they were of no help at all. We've had to figure out a work around for this on our computers (you can see my blog posting on this http://parkview.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/acs-web-editions-pdf-problem-take-2/)
But in the meantime, we're left very frustrated with their attitude. Yet what can we do - we need their content. We can't go anywhere else.

Anyway, thanks for the update.

Ed Eckel
Engineering Librarian
Western Michigan University

John Dupuis said...

Hi Ed,

Thanks for the comment and I couldn't agree more with your point. Certainly the ACS's strong position makes it difficult to move beyond their monopolistic behavior. And certainly it's hard to change that behavior. I guess we can only do our best to advocate for our users and to promote alternatives.

(And sorry about posting your comment under my name. I accidentally deleted your comment when I really meant to publish it. Fortunately, I still had the email notification I get with the text.)