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Breaking the glass ceiling in math

Photo credit: EPA In 2005, Larry Summers unwittingly brought criticism upon himself by suggesting that the lack of women at the top in STEM fields could be explained by innate (biological) differences in mathematical ability. Although women are gaining ground at the undergraduate and even graduate level in certain STEM fields (e.g., biological sciences–but not in math or engineering), they remain under-represented at the highest levels (e.g., tenured professors). The…

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Harassment in Science, Replicated

Image by Katherine Streeter As an undergraduate student in biology, I spent several weeks in Costa Rica one summer with an older graduate student on a research project deep in the cloud forest. It was just the two of us, and upon arriving at our site, I discovered that he had arranged a single room for us, one bed. Mortified but afraid of being labeled prudish or difficult, I made…

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Women science writers conference about changing the ratio

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…

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Mystery of the Missing Women in Science

Serge Bloch Peter Ostrander, the tireless coordinator and cheerleader for a renowned science and mathematics magnet program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., was not satisfied. Over the past few years, the pool of applicants had included nearly as many girls as boys, and the acceptance rate — based largely on test scores and grades — had followed suit. Yet when it came to which of the…

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Bias Persists for Women of Science, a Study Finds

Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills, a new study by researchers at Yale concluded. As a result, the report found, the professors were less likely to offer the women mentoring or a job. And even if they were willing to offer a job, the salary was lower. Click here to read more from this September…

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Giving Women the Access Code

Steve Schenck/Harvey Mudd College Thanks in part to companies like Facebook, Yelp and Zynga and in part to cultural sensations like the movie “The Social Network,” coders are hip and computer science is hot. Departments across the nation are brimming with students. But those students are overwhelmingly male. In 2010, just 18.2 percent of undergraduates in the field were women, according to the National Center for Education Statistics — in…

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