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Speaking of gender bias

Published on Apr 23, 2019in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 9.58
· DOI :10.1073/pnas.1904750116
May R. Berenbaum67
Estimated H-index: 67
A lot can be learned about the history of science in America from browsing through the front matter of PNAS across its 104-year history. You’d have to look through 73 volumes, for example, before coming across the name of the first distaff editor-in-chief. In 1985, molecular biologist Maxine Singer became the journal’s first female editor; at the time she was appointed, she presided over an Editorial Board of 16 NAS members, all of whom were men. By the time her term ended in 1988, plant molecular biologist Mary Dell-Chilton had joined the board, raising its percentage of female members from 0 to 6%. Today, PNAS has 215 Editorial Board members, 52, or 24%, of whom are female. All things considered, that’s not really an impressive rate of change—just short of a fourfold increase in representation across three decades. Even the US Congress, a longtime bastion of masculinity, has managed to better that rate; over that same time interval, the representation of women in Congress increased from 25 to 110 (proportionately, from 2 to 20%). Election to Congress, however, is open to members of the US population who meet a half-dozen or so minimum requirements of age, citizenship, and residency, so for decades, the eligible pool has been ∼50% female. In contrast, appointment to the PNAS Editorial Board is limited to members of NAS, another longtime bastion of masculinity, and election to NAS has many more stringent requirements than does election to Congress. In 2019, NAS has 2,811 members (including active members, emeritus members, and foreign associates); of these, 448 are women (16%). Although many factors may be invoked to account for the fact that, today, male emeritus members outnumber female emeritus members 10 to 1 (70 vs. 6), the ratio is in part a reflection of the historical gender skew …
  • References (14)
  • Citations (0)
Published on Aug 1, 2018in Neuron 14.40
Maria Asplund12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Freiburg),
Cristin G. Welle7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Anschutz Medical Campus)
As scientists and engineers, we must recognize the overwhelming evidence that we each harbor bias that influences our professional decisions. Yet, solving today’s increasingly complex public health challenges requires diverse perspectives from multidisciplinary teams. We all have the opportunity to actively promote a more representative scientific community; let’s harness the power of collective action to build diverse teams that deliver the most innovative science.
Stav Atir2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Cornell University),
Melissa J. Ferguson23
Estimated H-index: 23
(Cornell University)
Gender inequality persists in many professions, particularly in high-status fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and math. We report evidence of a form of gender bias that may contribute to this state: gender influences the way that people speak about professionals. When discussing professionals or their work, it is common to refer to them by surname alone (e.g., “Darwin developed the theory of evolution”). We present evidence that people are more likely to refer to male than female...
Nikhil Garg4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Stanford University),
Londa Schiebinger25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Stanford University)
+ 1 AuthorsJ C Zou26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Stanford University)
Word embeddings are a powerful machine-learning framework that represents each English word by a vector. The geometric relationship between these vectors captures meaningful semantic relationships between the corresponding words. In this paper, we develop a framework to demonstrate how the temporal dynamics of the embedding helps to quantify changes in stereotypes and attitudes toward women and ethnic minorities in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States. We integrate word embeddings tr...
Christine L. Nittrouer2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Rice University),
Michelle R. Hebl34
Estimated H-index: 34
(Rice University)
+ 3 AuthorsVirginia Valian18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Hunter College)
Colloquium talks at prestigious universities both create and reflect academic researchers’ reputations. Gender disparities in colloquium talks can arise through a variety of mechanisms. The current study examines gender differences in colloquium speakers at 50 prestigious US colleges and universities in 2013–2014. Using archival data, we analyzed 3,652 talks in six academic disciplines. Men were more likely than women to be colloquium speakers even after controlling for the gender and rank of th...
Published on Mar 21, 2017in eLife 7.55
Markus Helmer2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Yale University),
Manuel Schottdorf4
Estimated H-index: 4
(MPG: Max Planck Society)
+ 1 AuthorsDemian Battaglia14
Estimated H-index: 14
(AMU: Aix-Marseille University)
Peer review is the cornerstone of scholarly publishing and it is essential that peer reviewers are appointed on the basis of their expertise alone. However, it is difficult to check for any bias in the peer-review process because the identity of peer reviewers generally remains confidential. Here, using public information about the identities of 9000 editors and 43000 reviewers from the Frontiers series of journals, we show that women are underrepresented in the peer-review process, that editors...
Mathias Wullum Nielsen8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Stanford University),
Sharla Alegria2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UCM: University of California, Merced)
+ 7 AuthorsLonda Schiebinger25
Estimated H-index: 25
(Stanford University)
Pick up any recent policy paper on women’s participation in science and you will find assurances that gender diversity enhances knowledge outcomes. Universities and science-policy stakeholders, including the European Commission and the US National Institutes of Health, readily subscribe to this argument (1⇓–3). But is there, in fact, a gender-diversity dividend in science? The data suggest that there is. Under the right conditions, teams may benefit from various types of diversity, including sci...
Published on Jan 30, 2015in PLOS ONE 2.78
Effie Ioannidou14
Estimated H-index: 14
(University of Connecticut Health Center),
Amy Rosania1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Connecticut Health Center)
Introduction Each journal’s editorial and advisory board plays a critical role in resolving gender bias in the peer-review and publication process. Thus, this study aimed to quantify women’s participation in editorial and advisory boards of major dental journals. Gender data on editorial and advisory boards were extracted from major dental journals, which were then categorized by journal specialty focus. The gender of the editor-in-chief and associate editor-in-chief was noted to assess the effe...
Published on Oct 30, 2013in PLOS ONE 2.78
Lesley G. Campbell14
Estimated H-index: 14
(RyeU: Ryerson University),
Siya Mehtani2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Rice University)
+ 1 AuthorsJanice Rinehart1
Estimated H-index: 1
(NSF: National Science Foundation)
Here we present the first empirical evidence to support the hypothesis that a gender-heterogeneous problem-solving team generally produced journal articles perceived to be higher quality by peers than a team comprised of highly-performing individuals of the same gender. Although women were historically underrepresented as principal investigators of working groups, their frequency as PIs at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis is now comparable to the national frequencies in ...
Published on Jul 22, 2013in PLOS ONE 2.78
Jevin D. West18
Estimated H-index: 18
(UW: University of Washington),
Jennifer Jacquet17
Estimated H-index: 17
(NYU: New York University)
+ 2 AuthorsCarl T. Bergstrom45
Estimated H-index: 45
(UW: University of Washington)
Gender disparities appear to be decreasing in academia according to a number of metrics, such as grant funding, hiring, acceptance at scholarly journals, and productivity, and it might be tempting to think that gender inequity will soon be a problem of the past. However, a large-scale analysis based on over eight million papers across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities reveals a number of understated and persistent ways in which gender inequities remain. For instance, even whe...
Corinne A. Moss-Racusin18
Estimated H-index: 18
John F. Dovidio89
Estimated H-index: 89
+ 2 AuthorsJo Handelsman68
Estimated H-index: 68
Despite efforts to recruit and retain more women, a stark gender disparity persists within academic science. Abundant research has demonstrated gender bias in many demographic groups, but has yet to experimentally investigate whether science faculty exhibit a bias against female students that could contribute to the gender disparity in academic science. In a randomized double-blind study (n = 127), science faculty from research-intensive universities rated the application materials of a student—...
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