Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

In the news - Small bias, big difference

Are grant awards made based on merit alone? A new study—reported at ScienceInsider by Viviane Callier—suggests that even a little bias can have a large effect on which awards are made. The simulation’s “results are astonishing—funding is exceptionally sensitive to bias,” says Ruth Hufbauer, an ecologist  at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, as quoted in the ScienceInsider post. “[W]hen biased reviewers took more than 2.8% off the scores awarded to grants from the nonpreferred applicants, the bias began to affect funding decisions—even though that number is smaller than the difference in scores produced by randomness,” Callier writes.

Read more here.

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