« Response on Malaria and DDT-BECKER | Main | The Shalala Report on Women in Science and Engineering--Posner »

10/02/2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c031153ef013482fe0235970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Comment on the NAS Report on Women in Science and Engineering-BECKER:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

robert

If one accepts Posner's and Becker's comments that the report itself is unworthy of the NAS, then I would submit that such a problem is greater than the supposed problem of bias/discrimination against women in the sciences.
To have an organization such as the NAS (which is purportedly dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology for the general welfare) produce such a report under its auspices suggests that science, the one field above all others in which truth and objective facts are parmount, may have become infected with politically correct notions substituting as legitimate research.
The scientist (or the student who wishes to pursue such a career) must adhere to rigorous standards of inquiry before hypothesis evolves into scientific fact. In such an environment, biases and prejudices hold no sway.
If the apparent application of non-objective ideas as evidenced by this report infects science itself, then the results would be potentialy catastrophic to both science and technology. In a worst case scenario, progress will become impacted. The comfort, control and convenience in our daily lives--something which we casually take for granted--will be lessened. Even worse, who is to say that such an impact won't start a "brain drain" by scientists to other countries? Or that the technological superiority enjoyed by the nation (another thing which we take for granted) won't be lost to a China or an India?
In the end, it is the ideas that are prominent in a culture which shape that culture. If the wrong ideas become prominent in the sciences, then we as a society will pay a price far greater than the loss of talented women due to alleged institutional discrimination.

Muxec

I can throw tens of models explaining discriminations just now and find hundreds more after thinking about this. But the 2 models neglecting child-care that I beleive the most are:

1. Science needs marketing (PR) to attract new scientists. It's market for people's time. We must examine scientific "advertising" to understand the nature of low female participation in sciences. "Marketing" of science comes from family and from mass media. For example one can be influenced by films about great scientists as child and modify his/her life-plan accordingly. Female sciensts rarely appear in popular culture, mass media, family talks. Take physics: Newton, Einstein, Feynman, Landau and, the only female in the list, Curie. Take economics: Marx, Smith, Keynes, Becker... The "advertising" is targeted and the role of targeting is huge (see Google banner exchange statistics for role of targeting in advertising).
To sum up: Current forms of scientific advertising are better at creating male image of "Myself in science" and much less successful when it comes to female version of "Myself in science" as seen by children and young adults.

2. Here analisis of market for time comes again. Simplified model. Suppose there are only 2 types of actions: science related actions and beauty related actions. Every person is provided with limited amount of time he/she can divide between two types of activities. Suppose that there are only 2 uncorrelated traits: intelligence and beauty. If each person divides time equally between 2 types of the activities than there is no correlation between beauty and scientific achievements. But people organize their time to equalize margnal utilities (expected). And people with higher beauty of the same intelligence will spend more time on the beauty-related actions while the ugly feels that the marginal utility of beauty-related actions falls rapidly. Here the competition between two types of actions creates negative correlation between beauty and scientific achievement without such correlation with scientific ability.
Culturally the value of female appearance (at least at the age of peak potential creativity and learning) is considered more valuable than male's beauty. I.e: subjectively females are cuter in average.
To sum up: females will spend less time (in average) on science due to higher competition from "market for beauty" caused by higher expected utility.
(This model can be easily extended to X traits and N types of time-spending)

Matt Rognlie

"In addition, however, there is also agreement that discrimination declined greatly over time, which is partly reflected in the data presented in this Report on the now substantial enrollments of women at technical schools such as MIT."

Are the authors of the report aware that MIT uses an "adjustment" system that treats the qualifications of male and female students differently in admissions? Caltech, the only comparable school, doesn't employ affirmative action of the same magnitude, and its male/female ratio is around 70/30.

Alexander Zemlinsky

With all respects Mr. Becker, just as a curiosity, I would like to know if you like classical music, specially the work of Gustav Mahler.
Thank you for this allways interesting blog.

Ned

I'm surprised there is almost no mention of gender difference in standard deviation of IQ as explanatory variable for underrepresentaion of women among top scientists etc. The first time I heard about this was more than twenty years ago, in a research by psychologist Hans Eisenck. Based on numbers that he mentioned for the differences of IQ sigmas between men and women, it is easy to calculate expected representations of two groups in MENSA (high-IQ society), for example, that is borne out by actual membership numbers (two to one ratio in favor of men). Further, by measuring or estimating average IQ of members of particular selective groups (Nobel prize winners, CEOs, members of US Senate (?)), one could find out what would be appropriate representation for women, ceteris paribus (no discrimination, 'level palying field' etc.). Then we'd know what is the strength of other possible explanatory factors.

The absence of such research (at least I haven't heard of any) is surprising as sigma would be failry easy to estimate from individual IQ test results. It is well known, for example, that men dominate the left tail of the IQ distribution (prison population, special education classes etc.).

st

Worked with many outstanding women scientists and engineers in the past, one thing stands out differ from the other half of the species: women will pursue for the excellence in work, however, will not as vigorously as men to fight for the credit (particularly, if it is going to impair their further pursue of the work in progress). Some men took advantage of such a "weakness" (actually, it is necessary compromise to channel the energy towards real work rather than politics... It might be in the genetic code, it might be in the role play as supporter, provider and nature leadership in the group by "design"... I do not mean "intelligent design", which the male ego exhibit at its maximum at recent event of "Have science found god"....). Madam Curie got pushed to the front when tragic happen, otherwise, she would not be notices as much by the world. Nobody besides few notice the Rosalind Franklin (DNA lady) until recently. Of course, the selected or elected few may not be the real inventors (or believed high IQ guy) in the field... Maurice Wilkins and Nikola Tesla rings a bell. NAS are special breed for sure. No disagreement here. (not surprise about the report at all)...Unless many of the women behind scene being noticed, it is pointless to discuss how much contribution or even evaluate the issue...case closed.

Anonymous

nice
مركز تحميل

Anonymous

thanks
بنت الزلفي

Anonymous

Thank you, you always get to all new and used it
شات صوتي

Anonymous

العاب
___
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

Anonymous

العاب
___
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

Anonymous

ÿßÿ®ÿ±ÿßÿ¨
___
دليل

Anonymous

العاب
___
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

Anonymous

4cxnDq

Anonymous

ÿØÿ±ÿØÿ¥ÿ©
___
صور

Anonymous

Hello everyone. Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
I am from Germany and learning to speak English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: "Senior citizen police academy abstract senior citizens police academy in partnership with the dc office on aging, the metropolitan police department."

Thank you very much :D. Anthony.

Anonymous

Thank you, you always get to all new and used it
ÿ¥ÿßÿ™

دردشه

Anonymous

I bookmarked this link. Thank you for good job!

Anonymous

I want to say - thank you for this!

Anonymous

Great site. Keep doing.

Anonymous

Great work, webmaster, nice design!

Anonymous

It is the coolest site, keep so!

Anonymous

thanks to tell me that,i think thats so usefully----
tiffanys
links london

Anonymous

Great work, webmaster, nice design!

Anonymous

دردشة برق


دردشة الخليج

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Become a Fan

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31