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Professor Marlene Zuk discusses women and science

In the final Tea Talk of Michaelmas Term, Professor Marlene Zuk gave a special lecture on “Gender, Science, and Myths of Merit”. 

Prof Zuk, an evolutionary biologist from the University of Minnesota, is the renowned co-discoverer of the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis.  In addition to research in ecology and evolution, she has studied the progress of women’s careers in science and presented evidence that women tend to be under-represented in senior jobs, to be paid less, to secure smaller research grants and to abandon scientific careers.  This is true to a greater or lesser extent in all countries, including those (such as Scandinavia) with high profile commitment to gender equity.  

In discussing unconscious bias (to which women are susceptible as much as men), she gave examples such as the way that the same CVs tend to be read differently depending on whether a male or female name is given, and the way that references for male and female candidates often emphasize different stereotypical qualities.  Prof Zuk concluded her talk by congratulating the Department on submitting its Athena SWAN silver award application.

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