Statement from the ASBMB on its commitment to diversity and inclusion upon the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment in which scientists can make the important breakthroughs that will improve the health and quality of life of people across the world. During the 2016 presidential election, we heard harsh rhetoric  that caused great concern among those…

New study underscores challenges of work-life balance for women in academia

Despite flexible hours and extended vacation periods, academia “may be a difficult place to combine career and motherhood,” researchers from Barnard College, a women’s liberal arts institution affiliated with Columbia University in New York, reported June 11 to the American Association of University Professors.

In findings presented last month at an AAUP conference Washington, DC, the Barnard researchers described the stress that women in academia experience while trying to balance the needs of their careers with those of their families, and they recommended systematic changes aimed at capping off the “leak” of women from the academic work-force pipeline.

Erector sets and Barbie dolls

Since Larry Summer’s now infamous remarks in 2005, the underrepresentation of women in science has gained a high level of attention. Harvard’s faculty and graduate students have joined the National Academy of Sciences, the Center for American Progress and other groups to study the reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in science. Now the American Enterprise Institute has decided to weigh in.

At a recent book forum hosted by AEI, Christina Hoff Sommers, an AEI resident scholar, presented her views on the dearth of women in science. Focusing on quantitative disciplines like physics, math and computer science, she argued that the smaller percentage of women in scientific disciplines is the result of innate differences in preference between men and women. Not only is the evidence for Sommers’ argument shaky, but her position creates a rationalization for the removal of policies that encourage the advancement of women in science.