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2012 Archives

Women scientists lose out on research prizes


The following ran on the March 14, 2012, edition of USA Today's Science Fair blog. Sociologist Anne Lincoln provided expertise for this story.

March 22, 2012

By Dan Vergano

Male scientists still receive an outsized number of research awards compared to women, a study finds.

Women are nominated for research prizes just as frequently as men, however unconscious bias and men running prize panels seems to be swaying award outcomes, suggests the study in the current Social Studies of Science journal.

Varying widely by discipline, women receive about 40% of all doctorates in science (around 70% of psychology degrees but less in other fields) and engineering (about 10%), and have long suffered from lower odds of becoming full professors or attaining other markers of prestige in those fields.

"A large body of social science research finds that work done by women is perceived as less important or valuable that that done by men," begins the study led by sociologist Anne Lincoln of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In their research, the study authors looked at award patterns from 13 scientific and medical societies from 1991 (206 awards) to 2010 (296 awards)....