Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women's scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued

Date:
May 8, 2012
Source:
SAGE Publications
Summary:
When men chair committees that select scientific awards recipients, males win the awards more than 95 percent of the time. A new study reports that while in the past two decades women have begun to win more awards for their scientific achievements, compared to men, they win more service and teaching awards and fewer prestigious scholarly awards than would be expected based on their representation in the nomination pool.

A new study from Social Studies of Science (published by SAGE) reveals that when men chair committees that select scientific awards recipients, males win the awards more than 95% of the time. This new study also reports that while in the past two decades women have begun to win more awards for their scientific achievements, compared to men, they win more service and teaching awards and fewer prestigious scholarly awards than would be expected based on their representation in the nomination pool.

The authors wrote, "On the face of them, awards for women may not raise concerns … yet women-only awards can camouflage women's underrepresentation by inflating the number of female award recipients, leading to the impression that no disparities exist."

The researchers analyzed the composition of award committees in order to explain why there is such a large disparity between male and female scientific award recipients. They found that committees that were chaired by men awarded 95.1% of their prizes to men despite the fact that women made up 21% of the nomination pools. While having women on a committee did increase the chances that women were awarded prizes, women made up only 19.5% of the average award committee and male chairs trumped any effect of having women on the committee.

Researchers Anne E. Lincoln, Stephanie Pincus, Janet Bandows Koster, and Phoebe S. Leboy studied the dissemination of awards given by 13 societies from the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) between 1991 and 2010. They found that while awards to women increased by 78.5 % during these two decades, between the years of 2000 and 2010, men were more than eight times more likely than women to win a scholarly award and almost three times more likely to win a young investigator award. Interestingly, this disparity grew instead of diminishing between the years of 2001 and 2010 -- women won 10% of research-based awards while winning 32.2 % of service awards and 37.1 % of teaching awards.

The researchers suggested some possible solutions to this problem such as increasing the proportion of female nominees for all types of scientific prizes, ensuring that women are well represented on prize committees, constantly reviewing award criteria to check for implicit bias, and establishing an oversight committee to maintain standards of equality.

"The fact that women are honored twice as often for service as for scholarship may arise from … the tacit assumption that scientists and rigorous scholars are men, and that women are incongruent with the scientist role," wrote the authors. "Professional societies must inform leadership and awards committees about such bias."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SAGE Publications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. E. Lincoln, S. Pincus, J. B. Koster, P. S. Leboy. The Matilda Effect in science: Awards and prizes in the US, 1990s and 2000s. Social Studies of Science, 2012; 42 (2): 307 DOI: 10.1177/0306312711435830

Cite This Page:

SAGE Publications. "Women's scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508142622.htm>.
SAGE Publications. (2012, May 8). Women's scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508142622.htm
SAGE Publications. "Women's scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508142622.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins