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article imageIs sexism in science at an end?

By Tim Sandle     Nov 9, 2014 in Science
While female scientists in academia do not face an inhospitable workplace, the low numbers of female faculty are simply due to women’s career choices. This is the view of two psychologists.
Psychologists Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams of Cornell University and economists Donna Ginther of the University of Kansas and Shulamit Kahn of Boston University, in an especially published article, argue that sexism in science is at an end.
Summarizing the thrust of the article, Williams and Ceci wrote in The New York Times: "There’s no argument that, until recently, universities deserved their reputations as bastions of male privilege and outright sexism. But times have changed...but when it does, it is largely anecdotal, or else overgeneralized from small studies.” Additionally, the authors claim that the lingering perception of a sexist workplace itself is hurting science. “Our country desperately needs more talented people in these fields. . . . But the unwelcoming image of the sexist academy isn’t helping."
However, many in the scientific community do not agree with the authors’ conclusions. For example, University of California, Davis’s Jonathan Eisen has stated in The Tree of Life blog that “career progression” topics—like salary and promotion—are lumped in with workplace topics—such as hostility and physical aggression against women—and yet, the authors only discuss data relevant to the career progression-related issues.
The article has opened up an interesting debate for the scientific community to discuss.
The article from which the research is taken is published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest. The study is called "Women in Academic Science: A Changing
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