Programme / Thematic Sessions III. c. The Widespread Manifestations and Important Consequences of Gender Bias in Science‹ back to Programme lister
Friday / 22 NOV
11:30 - 13:00
Until very recently, the prevailing attitude to gender equality in science was that science should be ‘gender neutral’ to be good. That is, it should not matter if the researcher was a woman or a man, or the research subject was female or male. However, ‘gender neutral science’ is an illusion that hides extensive male gender bias in science knowledge and practice, because, historically, many studies have either not included females or have not reported results disaggregated by sex.
The evidence shows that the consequence of male gender bias in science knowledge is potentially poorer quality of research outcomes for women than for men (e.g. in toxicity of drugs or safety of cars). It also shows that ignoring analysis and reporting of data by sex may produce results that are unreliable because studies cannot be reproduced. Lastly, at participation level, it has been shown that when labs are dominated by men, women’s needs as beneficiaries of research may be overlooked, and that gender balance on research team can improve problem solving and decision making performance by diversifying ways of representing the problem and its context, which can help avoid cognitive fixedness regarding desirable solution. Therefore, the main benefits of tackling gender bias in science are clear: more reliable studies; improved quality of outcomes for women and men; and potentially new (and more sustainable) impact, including stronger societal relevance and new markets for science knowledge.
In this 90 min session each speaker will take 10 min to explain their interests in advancing more gender sensitive and more socially responsive science, followed by a conversation-style discussion and questions from the audience.
- Astrid Linder, Research Director of Traffic Safety, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
- Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director Strategic Partnerships, National Research Foundation
- Magdalena Skipper, Editor in Chief, Nature
- Miyoko Watanabe, Executive Director, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)