Research on WISE

Scholarly Research on WISE

Nepotism and Sexism in Peer Review
Christine Wenneras and Agnes Wold
Nature 387, 341-343 (22 May 1997)
In the first-ever analysis of peer-review scores for postdoctoral fellowship applications, the system is revealed as being riddled with prejudice. The policy of secrecy in evaluation must be abandoned.

Does Gender Matter?
Ben Barres
Nature 442, 133-136 (13 July 2006)
The suggestion that women are not advancing in science because of innate inability is being taken seriously by some high-profile academics. Ben A. Barres explains what is wrong with the hypothesis.

A threat in the air: How stereotypes shape intellectual identity and performance.
American Psychologist, Vol 52(6), Jun 1997, 613-629.
Steele, Claude M.
A general theory of domain identification is used to describe achievement barriers still faced by women in advanced quantitative areas and by African Americans in school. The theory assumes that sustained school success requires identification with school and its subdomains; that societal pressures on these groups (e.g., economic disadvantage, gender roles) can frustrate this identification; and that in school domains where these groups are negatively stereotyped, those who have become domain identified face the further barrier of stereotype threat, the threat that others' judgments or their own actions will negatively stereotype them in the domain. Research shows that this threat dramatically depresses the standardized test performance of women and African Americans who are in the academic vanguard of their groups (offering a new interpretation of group differences in standardized test performance), that it causes disidentification with school, and that practices that reduce this threat can reduce these negative effects.

Sex Differences in Intrinsic Aptitude for Mathematics and Science:
 A Critical Review
American Psychologist Vol. 60, No. 9, 950–958, December 2005
Elizabeth S. Spelke
This report considers three prominent claims that boys and men have greater natural aptitude for high-level careers in mathematics and science. According to the first claim, males are more focused on objects and mechanical systems from the beginning of life. According to the second claim, males have a profile of spatial and numerical abilities that predisposes them to greater aptitude in mathematics. According to the third claim, males show greater variability in mathematical aptitude, yielding a preponderance of males at the upper end of the distribution of mathematical talent. Research on cognitive development in human infants and preschool children, and research on cognitive performance by students at all levels, provides evidence against these claims. Mathematical and scientific reasoning develop from a set of biologically based capacities that males and females share. From these capacities, men and women appear to develop equal talent for mathematics and science.

Recommended Books

Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women by Virginia Valian

The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould

The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons

Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Every Other Thursday: Stories and Strategies from Successful Women Scientists by Ellen Daniell