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September 26, 2012

Do Female Scientists Get a Raw Deal?

Ah I know all FairerScience readers have an opinion about this one. Well tomorrow September 27th at 3:00 east coast time Science Live! will be hosting a live chat on just this topic. Am sure you all have heard/read about the study that found that science faculty members chose potential male applicants over female applicants and awarded males higher salaries even when the resumes were identical.

Well Science Live! is going to have a chat with amazing coauthor Jo Handelsman. I'm going try to get my meeting to take a break and listen-- hope you can too.

September 15, 2012

Love, lust and honoray authorship

So I rarely think of myself as naive but after reading Ending Honorary Authorship; it turns out I am totally naive.

According to a recent report, honorary authors were attached to 25% of research reports, 15% of review articles, and 11% of editorials published in six major medical journals in 2008.

When I was in grad school I knew a really, really talented grad student who was in love/lust with me (hey I have no data as which was the case but he was a really nice guy and a really talented researcher). Sadly I was neither in love nor in lust with him. To woo me he sent me several manuscripts suitable for publication based on the research he had done (did I mention he was a really really good researcher?) with my name on them as first author.

Of course my response was- that is so sweet of you but I could never be listed as an author on anything I hadn't done/written.

At 23 I thought that was a nobrainer. How sad it is that I was wrong.

September 09, 2012

Dolls and trucks side by side: I love you Harrods

There is not a lot else to say, Harrods,yea that would be that Harrods, has decided to desegregate their toy section.

Thanks Harrods, you have given me one more reason that I need to go back to London


September 07, 2012

Counting on women in development

FairerScience friend Shirley Malcom has a really interesting and thoughtful piece out about the importance of taking women into account in research, policy and development programs and how without separate and gender-specific assessment of these programs, we will not know what works best for both women and men.

Her examples are stunning:

African women farmers are estimated to produce 20 per cent more than men from the same access to land and inputs, with only one per cent of the land and seven per cent of extension services. By how much could global agricultural production increase if women had the same access to support and services as men?

In Namibia, a palm tree conservation project was failing until the rights of local women to manage the forest were reinstated. Palm trees began to die months after women were asked to cut production of baskets made from palm leaves, used to store and carry milk and water. An investigation eventually revealed that the trees started to die when their care was transferred from the women, but once they regained this responsibility the plantation revived.

She also pointed me to a resource I hadn't known about, Applying a Gender Lens to Science, Technology and Innovation by the United Nations Conference on trade and Development. Thanks Shirley