I agree. Science has a lot of reforming to do in this, especially in the public engagement on origins.
Do you think sex discrimination within the natural sciences has lessened in the last 10 or 20 years? I am not under the illusion that there is no sexism, but has it improved, or even improved a lot in your estimation?
You asked if I thought bias against women had improved in the sciences in the last few decades. That’s hard for me to answer. I am not an undergraduate or a grad student or a post doc now. Those are the stages most vulnerable. However there are also structural problems that are inherent in the system. Women have to decide if they will marry and have children. Typically that choice happens during the time most critical for their career as a graduate student or a post doc. I think tenure and hiring committees should credit at least one paper for every baby. Joke. It probably should be two papers. I was told more than once that I should be married to Science. Oh for a good wife. Joke
This is really important and true @Agauger.
By the way, thanks for all the civility here. This time I’m not joking.
For what’s it worth I tip my cap to you for your perseverance and success in a male dominated scientific world. I’m a huge supporter of STEM programs for women and actively encourage females students in all the sciences. I must say I’ve extremely proud of my two undergraduate nieces, one pursuing a degree in engineering and the other in biology. Women scientists rock!
And I second that. The woman engineers and scientist that I worked with had to be twice as good as their male counterpart to be recognized. I salute you and glad you are a role model to young woman in science.
IIRC it is standard practice for many places to extend the 7-year up-or-out tenure decision per baby.
First of all, thanks @Agauger, for your engagement here, even though I’m sure there are times when it isn’t a great deal of fun holding a minority position.
Josh is correct, I would be very willing to advocate for individuals that are singled out unfairly.
I think Josh is also correct in advising against attempts to influence legislative action. From what I have seen in this thread and have read in other sources, the unfair treatment does occur, but very rarely. I don’t think it would turn out well for ID proponents to get that deeply into a fight.
@Agauger I’m sure that you would agree with this one regarding freedom of expression:
As Josh says, that is so true. I know one PI who has two kids, and I don’t know how she swung it. I also know two post docs who got their degree after their kids were older. This is certainly a hurdle for many women in science given the long term commitment a research project requires. It’s not as if someone can step in and do your work for 3 months.
Thanks for the reply, and let me know if you hear anything from your colleagues about the current state of science from the female perspective.
Anecdotes (late '80s): I’d heard of a professor who didn’t like to take married women grad students because of a fear that they’d have children and that this would interfere with their work progress. The description for that was ‘being an asshole’. Today, if there were a hint of that behavior, he’d be in seriously hot water.
On the creationism front, I worked in a biochem lab with a greatly religious grad student who expressed his doubts about evolution and possibly an old Earth. We had long discussions but he was also a friend. I don’t recall any professors treating him differently and indeed, he got his Ph.D. He’s now a minister.
She should have been given her five minutes. Yes.
But if armies of Christians attacked her for her motives, her truthfulness, and her right to be at the meeting on the internet, would that cause me to doubt her? If they reported only the mayor’s and police chief’s side of the story, and brought in guest speakers to counter what she said about the phrase “In God we trust” I, would that cause me to doubt? I am sure they would say she has a hidden agenda, and discuss her politics and past history of activism. They might even look into her personal and employment history to dig up dirt.
The above was more or less tongue in cheek. I think what was reported probably was true. But I I doubt anything like that would happen. I said what I did to compare her treatment to Sternberg’s and Gonzalez’s treatment. They suffered much greater harm.