A depressing finding in this study by Dr. Holly Witteman and colleagues “Are gender gaps due to evaluations of the applicant or the science? A natural experiment at a national funding agency.”
The main finding “Gender gaps in grant funding are attributable to less favourable assessments of women as principal investigators, not of the quality of their proposed research.”
The takehome: “To ensure the best research is funded, funders should ensure the design and execution of their grant programmes do not reproduce or exacerbate biases.”
Women in academia across Canada are no doubt nodding in agreement and feeling validated.
Sarah Parcak @indyfromspace asking female academics what the “absolute worst advice ever given to you by senior male colleagues?”
The replies say it all. I had to stop reading them; I was so disheartened.
These issues are systemic. They build and amplify the longer you are exposed to them. That is the brutal truth of microaggressions. Death by a thousand papercuts.
A few things that I’ve found interesting in the past few weeks:
A nasty case of alleged sexual harassment drives home the point the dangers that are inherent in a system where a graduate student has only one faculty member as their research advisor. It’s important as a grad student to develop a network of mentors.
In some cases, it is worth your time to improve a skill that you are poor at, especially if it is a required skill for your career. In many cases though, it is a better use of your time and efforts to capitalize on your strengths.
The “Dear HBR” podcast is excellent, but the Harvard Business Review “Women at Work” podcast is phenomenal! The podcast has recently returned for its second season and is better than ever! Honest, frank discussions of the challenges faced by professional women in their workplaces and practical advice on how to navigate this minefield. I can not recommend it enough!
I’ve written my second column for The Conversation Canada on the Venom movie that opened last night. The focus is on symbiosis and how an alien could go about hacking a human host.
The #reviewforscience Twitter hashtag has been cracking me up this week. Highlights include gluing trackers on bees, using a body massager to attract spiders, nooses for lizard collection, and the winner: using nail polish for killing bot fly maggots prior to extracting them from your own body.
Looks like the #MeToo movement has caught up with Canadian politics and they’re clearing house (the House of Commons that is!)
Tooting my own horn a bit…myself and several other bloggers were interviewed by the Nature piece “Why science blogging still matters”
A very elegant and thorough study by Chrétien et al. that suggests that the mitochondria in human cell lines operate at ~50°C when at maximal capacity and a thoughtful critique by Dr. Nick Lane . I suspect that some paradigms are about to be destroyed in the near future in mitochondrial and thermal biology.
A great post over at the Conditionally Accepted blog entitled “Latinxs in Academe: Rage about “Diversity Work” that effectively articulates the anger that is generated and internalized when one is assumed and expected to speak for an entire group.
This beautiful piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a must read. I am in awe of this man’s ability to use English prose. The lovely turns of phrase in this piece are surprising given its subject matter. I read it several weeks ago and it’s haunted me ever since.
I had previously avoided reading anything authored by Margaret Wente on purpose. Her column on Sept. 19, 2017 about students with disabilities was ignorant, unkind, and poorly researched. I won’t do it the dignity of linking to it here. I’ll warn you not to read the comments either; most of them are equally gross and lacking in empathy.
The Ig Nobel awards are always amusing, but they do make you think. You can go here for a list of the winners that were announced yesterday. I too have always wondered whether cats could be both a solid and a liquid.
A great post over at the blog Conditionally Accepted on Recognizing Emotional Labor in Academe.
A powerful art exhibit reinforces the offensiveness and irrelevance of wondering what sexual assault survivors were wearing when they were assaulted. Trigger warning for sexual assault descriptions.
Yet another take-down of an ill-advised campaign to address the challenges faced by women in STEM. The problem is not getting girls and women interested in STEM.
A follow-up to Terry’s post last week on most scientists being good people; “If you have a bad advisor in grad school”
A good summary of how setting small doable goals for academic writing can yield great results from the “This is what a computer scientist looks like” blog.
A thoughtful piece on the struggle for work-life balance in academia over at Tenure, She Wrote
The times they are a’ changing…and we need to change too! A neat article by Allison M. Vaillancourt at the Vitae website.
This week’s edition focuses on mentoring and mental health.
Meghan Duffy talks about “How intensively do you mentor undergrads working in your lab?” over at Dynamic Ecology.
Terry McGlynn believes that “A lot of scientists are kind, careful and caring” at Small Pond Science.
Scitrigrrl speaks “On my role/effectiveness as a mentor” at Tenure, She Wrote.
A very clear and honest list written by a student entitled “Dealing with mental health: A guide for professors” over at University Affairs.
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that challenges facing women in science are important to me.
Here are some recent articles from the web on these topics that I think are worth reading:
A great article from Lauren Morello summarizing the experiences of female scientists on Twitter in light of the sexist scandals of the past year.
The costs of being a minority professor are hard to quantify. Here’s an insightful article about the service part of the job with some concrete examples.
Previous posts of mine on similar topics can be found below:
The Ultimate Guide to Being a Gracious (Non-creeper) Conference Attendee
Jurassic World’s Portrayal of Women and Scientists
Book Review: What Works for Women at Work
Moms and babies: Maintaining academic productivity while a mother is not a zero-sum game
Don’t feed the trolls
Are you unintentionally writing biased reference letters for your female trainees?
Gestating in STEM: Blending family with a tenure-track academic career