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In this post, essentially a review of a review (Paul Voosen’s thoughts of Cassidy Sugimoto’s work regarding the ways in which gender gaps perhaps persist in science), I will offer up some insight regarding what I perceive I have come to understand regarding the role of women and science. I must admit, that my knowledge base isn’t very broad; I have only read “The Madam Curie Complex”, essentially a historical perspective on the issues faced today, listed to some in class discussion and lastly read the aforementioned article.
On outward appearance it would appear that our society has come leaps and bounds from the days of scrutinizing women scientists to absolute sickening amount, holding them to a 100% different standard with regards to their science and even their personal life like the days of Mary Curie. This woman was absolutely crucified for maybe having a relationship with a fellow physicist, while Albert Einstein left his wife to be with another woman for which he had knocked up. It would also appear that to a certain extent, the days of males crediting 100% from the brunt work and incredible insights of the Harvard astronomy lab are also somewhat in the past; however, upon reading this article this may not be entirely true; it has been acknowledged that females are still disproportionately charged with the heavy experimentation work (pipetting, centrifuging, sequencing are a few examples outlined in the study). All of this occurring without as much credit given in the terms of citations, publishing and other forms of acknowledgment. It however cannot be argued that we have come a ways in this regard as well.
However, to finally be able to bring these gaps to a complete and utter end, while in no ways comparable to the struggles faced the past few centuries still is going to be something astonish challenging, for the gap persists, not in the clearly evident discriminatory, alienating manner clearly discernable but rather in a rather transparent, implicit nature. This is eloquently stated in Bernstein’s article, and undoubtedly even more so in Sugimoto’s conclusions. While certain contributing members of the scientific will indeed continue to contain a gender bias, I am completely under the impression that women, as they have time and time again in the past continue to make great strides accordingly with Des Jardin’s characterizations of their science in her book; with a breathtaking amount of meticulousness, and benevolence in which their contributions to society as a whole will continue to elevate them and potentially bring these biases to a complete generational halt. It is in this society’s direct interest to cast away some of the societal norms that are holding female scientists back, as stated by Bernstein; making it cool in middle school and earlier in their educational careers to be interested in and excel at math and other sciences, as who knows the discoveries for which this would prompt. This seemingly invisible enemy, I have no doubts in my mind will be defeated and from this the benefits to society will be limitless.