The deficit model of STEM recruitment

Over at Small Pond Science, there is a thought provoking post about how to truly ‘diversify STEM fields.

If you want to truly diversify, then we need to stop trying to fill in the holes based on perceived deficiencies. Instead, we need to focus on training complete scientists. We need to fundamentally change our mindset about what a successful student looks like in a way that doesn’t reflect systemic inequities — and then enact a training and recruitment agenda based on that mindset. We can continue investing our time and resources trying to get URM students to look more competitive against white students from private universities.”

Interested? Read more here. 

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Science for the People

The March for Science has gained scorn, ridicule, and enthusiasm since the inauguration. Confused? Concerned? Want to help anyway?

Check out Science for the People, a new organization who’s primary goal is :

  • Growing an international organization of STEM workers, educators, and activists who work to serve the people — ­especially in poor, oppressed, and marginalized communities

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They give an excellent overview of the controversy and go into lots of interesting detail about the march, and what their goals are specifically.

 

We Are Never Just Scientists

During the Women’s March on Washington, a group formed called 500 women scientists. Their mission statement is to promote minorities and women in science and to make the inequality inherent in this system known.  Read about them here.

Along those same lines, for international women’s day, a few female scientists (Krista Bywater, Kristy L. Duran, Rukmani Vijayaraghavan, Claire Horner-Devine, Kelly Ramirez, Jane Zelikova) posted this excellent post on Scientific American about how as women and minorities we are never just scientists.

Please read the post, and consider marching (as a woman, as a minority, or as a white male ally) in the March for Science on April 22.

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This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful for Science

In a deeply divided country, some people are dreading going home for the holidays. The anticipation of political conversation, about who voted for who, and about the racist, misogynist bigot who is planning to soon lead the United States.

So instead of talking through some of these issues (although I encourage civil discord!), the New York Times has given us a list of science and health stories from 2016 that you can discuss instead!

You could talk about how science views fat and what we know about weight loss! Or instead of talking about fleeing the country, perhaps consider a move to Mars instead! Or you can talk about dogs, and what science knows about their relationships! 

Or you can talk about climate change, funding rates, the importance of teaching evolution and minorities in STEM! Not recommended by the NYTimes but always recommended by NiB.

Also, consider subscribing to the New York Times.

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The “Relocation” Problem in Academia

Margret Kosmala over at Ecology Bits has written one of the best work-life balance posts I have read in awhile.

The post titled “I am unwilling to relocate again (and it will probably cost me my academic “career”” presents the problems of the constant moving around that is expected in academia, and how we are expected to foot the bill.

While we have all heard about the two-body problem, and I have previously written about the one-body problem (one near and dear to my heart), she mentions the three or more body problem. The problem of finding affordable childcare, or moving away from family and playmates to help care for your children.

Importantly, she ends with the comment about how moving is expensive. In other professions, this is also true. But in most other industries, the company who wants you to move pays for it. In academia we are often (too often) left to foot the very expensive bill of moving all by ourselves.

Well worth a read, head over to Ecology Bits!

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Introducing a new resource for ecology and evolutionary biology

Gina Baucom and Meghan Duffy noted and lamented the lack of female scientist getting the big ecology and evolution awards.

And then they decided to do something about it.

I give you DiversifyEEB, a list of female and/or underrepresented minority researchers in Ecology and Evolution. The idea is to have a go to list of minorities in the scientific community who are willing to give a talk at conferences or seminar series. So if you’re organizing a conference and thinking “How can I make my invited speakers more diverse?”, consult this list. There is now a way.

Go read all about the motivation and the list itself over at Dynamic Ecology.

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How Male Biology Students See Their Female Peers

We talk a lot about diversity in STEM on this blog. But up to this point the conversation has largely addressed how the pipeline is likely leaking in graduate school of the post graduate career.

However, work from Sarah Eddy and Daniel Grunspan at the University of Washington reveal that it might be much earlier than we think.

In a study that spanned three years, 1,700 biology undergraduates were asked to name classmates who were “strong in their understanding of classroom material”. It turns out that male students underestimated their female peers, over-nominating men over better performing women.

Read about it over at the Atlantic

Or read the PLOS one paper here!

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