Remembering a champion for justice in academia and emulating his approach

Remembering a champion for justice in academia and emulating his approach

We offer a tribute to Dr. Ben Barres, whose groundbreaking science and refusal to remain silent in the face of injustice served as an inspiration to many. This piece and its companion piece by David Lipton are the final installments in our series about inequality in STEM.

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Strategies addressing a “chilly climate” transform women’s experience, relationships, and achievement in engineering

Strategies addressing a “chilly climate” transform women’s experience, relationships, and achievement in engineering

In STEM fields women are underrepresented both in numbers of senior faculty and participation metrics [1,2,3]. Women leave STEM fields at all transition points, a phenomenon known as “the leaky pipeline.” … In this post, we highlight a study by Professor Gregory Walton and his colleagues, where they characterize feelings of exclusion, and attempt to mitigate these feelings through the development of simple intervention strategies [6].

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Women’s visibility in science and academia

Women’s visibility in science and academia

The data dive into inequality in STEM continues.While the number of women in science has been increasing for the last twenty years, women are still leaving scientific fields at all stages of their careers. Research about the “leaky pipeline” suggests there is a disproportionate lack of female representation in crucial milestones for scientific career progression, such as receiving prestigious awards, publishing papers in important journals, and applying for patents. There are many ideas about why women continue to leave science as their careers progress, including differences in career goals and interests, parenting, differences in salary for equivalent positions, a lack of female role models and mentors, and explicit and implicit bias. Importantly, each of these factors contributes to a reduction in the visibility of women in science and academia.

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Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience

Gender differences in recommendation letters for postdoctoral fellowships in geoscience

The data dive into inequality in STEM continues. Letters of recommendation are absolutely key to securing admission to graduate programs and access to postdoctoral or tenure track positions. However, because letters tend to be personal in nature, they are also more susceptible to implicit biases. In the largest study on gender bias in recommendation letters to date, Dutt et al. quantitatively characterize gender differences in letters of recommendation across countries and institutions.

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Eight Ways We All Can Help to Improve Gender Diversity

Eight Ways We All Can Help to Improve Gender Diversity

Women and academia, why does this combination seem to be so challenging? Why do so few women make it to faculty positions, regardless of all the recent campaigns and awareness-raising and the high representation of women at undergraduate and graduate levels? Is it the nature of the scientific world with its high pressure to continuously perform exceptionally? Or are we maybe expecting too much? Is changing this gender imbalance just a gradual and slow process and do we need to just wait a bit longer?

Alternatively, could this imbalance be related to something that is engraved in all of us, a tough bias that unconsciously affects our reasoning? And if so, is there anything we can do about it?

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Neurotalk S2E13 Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell & elephant communication

In this exciting new episode of Neurotalk, we speak with Caitlin O'Connell Rodwell about working with elephants, elephant communication, women in science, and more!

Dr. O’Connell-Rodwell is an assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology at Stanford University.