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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

In the news - Unthinkable: Is science being skewed by a gender bias?

It has been a sobering time lately for men who are being collectively accused of unconscious gender bias. The representation of women on ballot papers, in theatre programmes and on the airwaves is under scrutiny like never before, and it’s only right that this column join in that process of self-examination.
A count of contributors to the column since it began two years ago shows that only 19 of 79 contributors (24 per cent) were women. A reprehensible total, albeit today at least marks number 20 thanks to Helen de Cruz, assistant professor of philosophy at VU University Amsterdam.
De Cruz, who is addressing the annual conference of the Society for Women in Philosophy Ireland in Dublin at the weekend, points out that biases are “difficult to counteract even if one is aware of them”. In this she references philosopher of science Helen Longino who, through her writings on the way in which knowledge evolves, provides today’s idea: “The greater the number of different points of view included in a community, the more likely its scientific practices will be objective.”

Read the full interview here.

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