18-48 Segment 2: Implicit Biases in Science

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Most people think of science as fact-based and not as subject to bias as the rest of the world. However, studies show that gender bias is rampant in science, and that women are not taken as seriously as men, even with identical qualifications. Experts discuss the problem and possible solutions.


  • Dr. Hannah Valentine, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, National Institutes of Health, and Senior Investigator, National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute
  • Dr. Nancy Hopkins, Professor of Biology Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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15-06 Story 1: Gender bias in science


Synopsis: Few female role models exist at major research universities in scientific fields, subverting efforts to get more women into math and science. Many scientists have dismissed gender bias as a factor. However, new research shows that unintentional bias results in women being subconsciously considered less competent than their male scientific counterparts. Experts explain how unconscious bias exists and its pervasive effect in academia and society at large.

Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Joan Herbers, Professor of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University and Past President, Association for Women in Science; Dr. Jo Handelsman, Associate Director for Science, US Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Click here for the transcript.