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A study in how not to talk about sexism in science

21 Apr 2015, 13:29 UTC
A study in how not to talk about sexism in science
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

[Credit: Futurama]Anyone who has applied for academic positions, whether teaching or research-focused, knows how bad the job market is right now, and it shows no signs of getting better.[1] While I love writing, a major reason I chose to do it full-time is because I was tired of applying for jobs constantly in hopes of landing even a position that would last a year or two before needing to apply — and move — again. So anything that looks like a bright spot in the academic market is a positive thing, such as last week’s paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).
This paper, by Cornell University psychologists Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci, concluded there is a 2-to-1 bias in favor of hiring women in academic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) positions. Now that raised my eyebrows for two reasons: Williams and Ceci were the same people who concluded last year that “academic sexism is dead”, and based on the statistics I knew, women are largely underrepresented in STEM departments on all levels. (I commented on the earlier work on this blog, as did many others.)
As I found when writing about the study for ...

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