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Women science writers conference about changing the ratio

Image credit: Perrin Ireland

Image credit: Perrin Ireland

Science writers take a “show me the numbers” approach when tackling a tough topic. So organizers of the first Solutions Summit for Women in Science Writing came armed with their own data to back up recent concerns that gender bias, inequity, and sexual harassment are still holding women back. This included a new survey showing that women science writers reported far more negative professional experiences related to their gender than male science writers, including work-related harassment.

A science writers’ bill of rights, an online clearinghouse on sexual harassment, mentoring networks, updated codes of conduct, and efforts to reduce tokenism were among the practical strategies that attendees at last weekend’s conference recommended to help educate both science writers and employers about gender issues.

“We’ve been working in science writing a long time. We’re all feeling that we are bumping into barriers we did not expect and did not accomplish the things we expected to accomplish,” said Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor with 30-plus years of experience in the field.

Click here to read more from this June 18, 2014 Columbia Journalism Review article by Cristine Russell.

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