Careers of Women in Science: Issues of Power & Control

Saturday - Sunday
12 May - 13 May 2001

Clark Kerr Campus

Event Type

To what extent have women attained power and control over their daily work as scientists and in the larger picture of science? The recent MIT report suggests that equity, let alone control of the daily practice of science is still elusive. At the same time ever more women are receiving Ph.D.s in science and engineering fields and women are found in growing if small numbers in leadership positions. Just how much power and influence have women generally and women of color specifically attained? Has such power and influence had any effect on improving the working climate for women scientists and strengthening their participation? This is the focus of this conference.

Potential areas of analysis could include: the extent and impact of women scientists as: grant reviewers for major national agencies such as DOE, NIH, NSF, DOD, etc.; editors and reviewers of significant scientific journals; department chairs, deans, provosts and presidents in the academic hierarchy; expert analysts for policy making bodies in congress, in national and state agencies; in organizations such as NAS, NAE or professional associations such as ACS, AMS, AIP, senior scientists, entrepreneurs, managers and executive officers in industry; agency & department heads.

These and others could be analyzed by sector, by organization, by type of activity; there are many possibilities. Such analysis, however, should be structured to address key questions about the ability to influence important decisions affecting the scientific community, the conduct of science, the impact on working conditions for women scientists, the strengthening of female participation in science. Related areas of interest include the impact of organizations for women scientists and engineers in these areas, the impact of law or policy on improving working conditions, or how career paths for women scientists are shaped. Likewise, contributions analyzing why women scientists make the career choices they do would be very interesting including reconciling family life with a scientific career.

Behind all of this is the impact and influence on science broadly construed. In the first instance individuals have an impact by the nature of their scientific work. While science may be universal, the facilitation and reception of new science may well be gendered. Inquiries on this theme would also be welcome. Proposals can be for an individual paper or for a panel on these themes.

This scholarly conference is joined with a broad recruiting conference to inform and attract girls and young women into science and engineering careers. In addition to the analytical presentations, individual women scientists, including scientists of color, are being asked to present a discussion of their careers in relation to success, power and influence. Our wish is to stimulate interactive and participatory discussions through this combination. Our goal is also to provide high school girls and undergraduate women with an honest assessment of life as a woman scientist believing that truthful discussions from successful women are compelling. Tables staffed by members of scientific organizations that actively support women as well as department and college representatives from Bay Area colleges will be present along with a technology room demonstrating web and e-mail support resources such as Mentor Net & Systers.

Conference sponsors include: AT UCB, CSHE, Colleges of Engineering, Natural Resources, Chemistry, Physical Sciences, Biology, Undergraduate Affairs, Graduate Division, VC Research: LLNL, LBNL, SWE, WEPAN, American Chemical Society, Packard Foundation.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  Center for Studies in Higher Education (UC Berkeley) • Office for the History of Science and Technology
Office for the History of Science and Technology

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