Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Male And Female Scientists Say About Women In Science

Portrait of Monsieur Lavoisier and His Wife (Wikimedia)
Men
  • “morphological differences and biological differences [make men better at] hardcore math and physics.” — male assistant professor, genetics
  • "[There are] some brain differences between men and women that explain it." — male grad student, biology
  • “On balance [women are] just less interested in math.” — male professor, biology
  • “Physics is more difficult for girls and you need a lot of thinking, and the calculation, and the logic. So that’s maybe hard for girls.” — male grad student, physics
  • “Science has been a male-dominated field for a substantially long period of time, and it’s going to take a while for that shift to change.” — male grad student, biology
  • "Women have to make a choice [because] the woman ends up being the primary caregiver if they have children.” — male postdoctoral fellow, biology

Women
  • “I think women ... want to have more of a sense that what they are doing is helping somebody. ... Maybe there are more women in ... biology [because] you can be like ‘Oh, I am going to go cure cancer.’” — postdoctoral fellow, biology
  • "Physics is more abstract and biology is more concrete. Women are less likely to like abstract things.” — female associate professor, physics
  • “[A friend of mine] was always told, ‘Oh, you’re not good at math,’ until she found herself getting As in a multivariable calculus class. You know, she was scared of math all through high school.” — female grad student, physics
  • “Male-dominated departments are really unpleasant for women. [...] Men can be huge jerks in those situations.” — female associate professor, biology
  • “I know a lot of women who are in chemistry and physics who are excellent at what they’re doing, but are often sidelined or ignored by their colleagues because there’s just not very many of them.” — female assistant professor, biology
  • “It’s not going to be solved until we figure out how to help mothers figure out how to do the career and the kid thing.” — female associate professor, physics

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