CategoryScience culture & integrity

Required Reading for Scientists on Race and Gender

Did you know that you can significantly change women’s performance on a challenging math test simply by providing a different explanation of the purpose of the test up front? And the same for Black students? Did you know there are ways to give advice and feedback that are demonstrated to improve performance in groups that suffer from (unconscious but inevitable) internalization of stereotypes? I learned these facts just a few weeks ago and find them astonishing. How can these crazy but simple things be true, and more importantly, why don’t most of us – professional scientists – know about them?

Continue reading

Do we have a gender problem?

Ten days after I made this post, the New York Times published a related piece suggesting that one gender was more likely to up-sell their work with self-congratulatory description. (Guess which one?) This made me think more about the gender issue in our own field. Have something to say on this issue? Write me: zuckermd@ohsu.edu. I hope to do a post on this in the future, ideally relating the experiences of several individuals, anonymously if they wish. I will be at the Biophysics meeting in San Diego Monday and Tuesday if anyone wants to talk about it.

Should we believe your abstract?

How many times has our community solved the sampling problem? I think it’s a fair question. You know I’m talking about claims rather than actual solutions. And many if not most of those claims are made in the abstracts of papers, even when the data paints a more limited story. I think our abstracts are the problem.

Continue reading