April 26, 2017
Increasing diversity within academic science has been a priority for France Córdova since she became director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2014. Within a year she had launched an initiative, called INCLUDES, that challenges universities to do a better job of attracting women and minorities into the field. Now, Córdova has turned her attention inward in hopes of improving the dismal track record of NSF’s most prestigious award for young scientists.
October 6, 2016
A study, "Gender Differences in Recommendation Letters for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Geoscience," published in Nature Geoscience, finds women are about half as likely as men to receive "excellent letters" as opposed to "good letters" of recommendation, regardless of whether the person writing the recommendation is male or female. The study — which analyzed the length and tone of more than 1,000 recommendation letters from across the globe for postdoctoral fellowships in the geosciences over a period of five years — was conducted to determine why just 10 percent of geoscience professorships are held by women when they comprise 40 percent of doctoral degree holders.
September 22, 2016
Diversity among faculty in higher education institutions in America has made only small improvements in the past two decades, according to a report released by the TIAA Institute. Efforts to increase faculty diversity can yield benefits–after all, diversity advocates have for years observed how diversity can lead to increased institutional innovation.
April 12, 2016
To achieve broad participation of women from all backgrounds in STEM fields, institutions must transform, according to a new article. The Policy Perspectives article in Science presents a six-part plan organized under the headings of: learn the social science research; leaders must understand the context and be accountable for diversity and inclusion; seek external catalyzing resources; focus at the department level; collect and publicly share data; and policy change is critical.
April 8, 2016
Although there has been a welcome increase in discussion about gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), broad participation of women from all backgrounds in academic STEM will not be achieved until institutions are transformed.
The New York Times
March 28, 2016
Vladimir Nabokov once observed that “a writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.” The geobiologist Hope Jahren possesses both in spades. Her engrossing new memoir, “Lab Girl,” is at once a thrilling account of her discovery of her vocation and a gifted teacher’s road map to the secret lives of plants — a book that, at its best, does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology.