17,493 ways to hold universities more accountable

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Until university leaders can supply politicians with better approaches to accountability, they’re just going to count. In Norway right now, we’re in the midst of counting season. And because of the sharp folks at Current Research Information System in Norway, we have detailed numbers. (Disclosure: I’m the head of the board at CRIStin.) Along with… Read More…

In Delft, men need not apply. (Yes, it’s legal.)

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Young women — and young men, too — should listen when Sheryl Sandberg encourages them to lean in. Some people dislike her advice, but I think she’s just tellin’ it like it is. Not like it has to be, or like I would want it to be, mind you. But, yes, how it is. Her… Read More…

Where women don’t belong: 2 strategies you and I both use to keep women out of science

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If you’d stop believing the myth that women are too slow out of the gate when they are supposed to add numbers, and if you start believing the fact that men are too fast, we might be able to make a little progress on gender balance in technical careers. It won’t be enough to fix… Read More…

Gender equality in Norway, International Women’s Day 2014

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Norway’s Statistisk sentralbyrå, or Statistics Norway in English, has a website full of fascinating numbers about life in Norway. On International Women’s Day, we find the infographic below, reporting some key statistics about gender equality in Norway, anno 2014. 25% of men and 31.6% of women have some post-secondary education. 82,9% of men and 76.8% of women… Read More…

Why are women so uncooperative?

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Female professors are less cooperative than men, which is exactly what we would expect from watching the behavior of men and women in groups. That is the claim recently published in a letter to Current Biology. Or, at least that’s the tabloid version of the letter. For example, Science 2.0, describes the research results as follows. In… Read More…

2 ways men and women aren’t different — and 1 way they are

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Are men and women basically the same, or are they fundamentally different? Stand-up comedians love this topic, and researchers do, too. The Annual Review of Psychology has just published a significant summary of the research that asks this question. The article is called Gender similarities and differences and it’s a comprehensive piece of work, touching on big questions: Are… Read More…

Here are 9 reasons why humanities matter. What’s your number 10?

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Did you know that over two-thirds of humanities majors get jobs in the private sector? Did you know that almost 60% of U.S. CEOs have degrees in the humanities? Did you know that the humanities receive less than 0.5% of federal research money in the U.S. and only about 1% in Europe? I didn’t know… Read More…

A fresh policy on gender balance and gendered research

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Innovation at universities starts among the grass roots. New teaching programs are most often developed at the initiative of those who teach and new research projects usually are triggered by those who do research. This is how the system is set up; it’s the nature of academic freedom. And there’s no doubt that this leads… Read More…

Gender equality mutilation, or how Elsevier went cringeworthy

My part of the Twitterverse is hopping this morning. First, the publisher Elsevier sent out a letter with a picture of a bunch of scientists, all of whom are white men. Pictures like that reinforce the stereotypes that keep young women away from science. But as if that wasn’t enough, a spokesman from Elsevier went… Read More…

The shocking truth about the quality of research: it’s not getting better

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That’s the conclusion of a new report studying 10 years of well-documented research activity. Since 2004, the Norwegian government has carefully classified all scholarly publications produced by Norwegian researchers. The system for tracking publications has just been evaluated. The review shows that the quantity of papers published has exploded. But the quality has remained unchanged…. Read More…