Talk:Women in science

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This is the discussion page for Women in science. If you're new to Wikipedia and want to help with this collaboration, just jump right in. If you have suggestions, leave a message here. If you want to change the article, go ahead! Be bold. If you add information, include inline citations if you have references handy. Don't worry about formatting; other editors can clean things up.

This article will probably split of eventually into a separate historical article, but for now, both historical and modern sociological and demographic content is appropriate.--ragesoss 02:24, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

People to include[edit]

I've added Marie Curie, but I must admit after that I feel a bit stumped, I'm sure there are lots more.

Rosalind Franklin who worked on DNA with Watson and Crick, I'll have to find out her involvement, so I can add her in.

I'm assuming we don't want it to simply be a who's who, but also a discussion about how the involvement of women in science evolved.

Terri G 18:21, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I've added Caroline Herschel, Mary Somerville, Ada Lovelace & Barbara McClintock, who all seemed well enough known to rate a separate mention, plus some 19thC Europeans gleaned from which has a lot of (largely unreferenced) biographical material.

I'm not sure the current divisions are optimal; I'd suggest a separate division for early 19thC with US & Europe together.Espresso Addict 00:30, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree the current division into US and Europe is largely artificial, shows a bias (undeliberate I'm sure) and makes it difficult to add women from outside these areas (for example I can think of several Australian and Isralei women who may warrant inclusion). I think a good way to proceed with this article would be to compile a separate chronological list (or a list by subject area) of women scientists and use it to help build this article, since ideally this article wouldn't be a disjointed collection of facts about women who have excelled, but a discussion of how women have contributed to science in more general terms.--Peta 00:27, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
    • On an additional note, if this article is going to largely be a chronology - it may be better at History of women in science.--Peta 02:05, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
      • I think a good format for this article might be ~1/3rd dedicated to history, with a link to History of women in science as the main article (where most of the current content could go), and 2/3rds discussing more-or-less the present, with information on breakdown across different fields and different nations, rates of career advancement, and the common barriers faced by women scientists, cultural attitudes regarding gender and science, and controversy over biologically-based reasons for differential success.--ragesoss 02:20, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
      • I came to it via the History of Science portal, so I didn't remark the focus, but I think you're right that splitting out much of the historical facts under the title you suggest would be useful. On your other point, I think data are scanty on women's involvement in science pre-late 19th C, so it's hard to make realistic generalisations. Espresso Addict 03:59, 18 May 2006 (UTC)
    • Mabye we should just move this article to History of... (I will delete the redirect) and when someone wants to write a more general and topical article on women in science they can do so at that name.--Peta 04:52, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Collaboration of the month[edit]

What subject areas are we considering 'science'? What about maths? Medicine? Nursing?

I don't know what the policy of Wikipedia on categories based on gender is, but setting up a category for women scientists, divided by nationality/subject, would certainly make finding this information easier. On the other hand, it might perhaps feel insulting to those tagged in this way. Thoughts, anyone? Espresso Addict 10:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Ah, I see there already is one. Perhaps the article should link to this? Espresso Addict 14:52, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Nina Byers notes Émilie du Châtelet, Sofia Kovalevskya, and Mary Somerville from before the 20th c. and lists 83 women physicists from before 1976. See her UCLA cwp page. --Ancheta Wis 00:04, 5 June 2006 (UTC) Her list includes

I'd be tempted to go easy on those whose major contributions fall after WW2, on grounds of the large numbers, though I agree that underrepresentation in physics is still a fact (at least in the UK). Can anyone source published stats on nos of women per subject at various levels? Espresso Addict 04:13, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I've created some new sections to handle contributions pre-16thC, with some stub information. Hopefully someone else knows more than I do... I've also added a conclusions section with some collected thoughts as a starting point for discussion. Espresso Addict 05:22, 7 June 2006 (UTC)


I think the article would be more interesting to read - and more useful for someone looking for activity within a specific field - if it was arranged thematically rather than chronologically, my suggestion would be

  1. Lead
  2. Section on women's participation in science over time, which would incorporate the info currently in conclusions
  3. Natural sciences
  4. Medicine
  5. Math (and computer science)
  6. Astronomy
  7. Physics
  8. Chemistry

A source I have also includes women in archeology and female inventors, should they also get sections in this article? Any opinions? --Peta 04:37, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'd be mildly opposed to this restructuring, though I can see it has some advantages.
The current historical approach allows the highlighting of different threads such as the importance of education, rank/class, family of male scientists, learned societies &c&c. In a subject-based structure, it would be easy either to lose these important threads, or, worse, to duplicate the information across each section. If the subject-based approach is decided on, then it would be important to extract this information and include it somewhere upfront.
The historical approach also allows for the fact that the divisions of science over history aren't the same as modern ones, and that until the late 19thC, scientists commonly worked across several fields.
If the decision is to divide into subject sections then you should note "natural sciences", in UK English use at least, traditionally includes all non-applied sciences. Do you mean biology or biological sciences? Some of the sections you suggest are going to prove very difficult to separate, broader sections would help in overcoming the problem I mentioned above. A section on engineering and technology might be a good addition.
Either way, one thing we could really do with in the article is a more international coverage. The present article is very biased towards Europe and America.
Re your other questions, I'd definitely suggest excluding archeology, it isn't usually counted as a science. There may be a case for including inventors, perhaps in the section on engineering and technology I suggest above. Espresso Addict 14:17, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
I found the chronological structure and jumping between regions in the history section disrupted its fluidity, especially when it kept jumping back and forth between Europe and the US. After Ancient History and Medieval Europe, do you think it would be better if it then gave a timeline within each country/region? I also think this article lacks a global perspective through time, Middle-Eastern/Asian countries have significantly smaller sections and are described as within the past few decades. Is there just an overall lack of historic sources of women in science in these regions before the 20th century? I also found that reference 67 takes you to a press release webpage, and doesn't Wikipedia deem press releases as unreliable sources? Thank you for the interesting read. Sphyrnidae76 (talk) 00:29, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

small addition to 20th century[edit]

I've added Inge Lehmann to the Women in science#1900 through World War II: Europe, The paper refernce for the discovery is: Lehmann, I. (1936) Inner Earth, Bur. Cent. Seismol. Int. 14, 3-31, but I haven't figured references out yet; furthermore I'm not sure if adding one here would be helpful. Inner Earth 15:24, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, it's very useful to have a record of the source. We've been tending so far to use secondary rather than primary sources for this article, but I think the references could do with an overhaul. There are several reference schemes, but the one in this article uses the [ref] tag (replace [] with <>)...
At the site of reference: [ref]Reference details[/ref]
In the references list: [references /]
If you want to reuse the same reference: [ref name="blah"]Reference details[/ref] ...then simply [ref name="blah" /] repeats the same citation. The label is case sensitive.
Espresso Addict 17:01, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

What about other places?[edit]

Did women outside Europe and the Mediterranean do any science before 1900?--T. Anthony 12:29, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

I've removed the following text, which is unsourced & PoV, as well as being largely irrelevant to this article, which is about women's contributions in various fields of scientific study, not feminism.

"Advancement of women into scientific fields has been slow. However, it could be argued that this is not necessarily a problem anymore than it is a problem that there are fewer men nurses than women nurses. Due to offshore outsourcing and the increase in skilled visa workers from lower-wage countries, science and technology careers have grown less stable. If the goal is to increase the earning power and career choices for women, then focusing on management and business positions perhaps may be more fruitful."

Espresso Addict 15:02, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

But, the article gets into political issues here:

"Women have made diverse contributions to science, technology and medicine, from antiquity to the present day. However, the exclusion of women from most formal education, particularly from around 1600 until the latter part of the nineteenth century, has severely restricted women's ability to contribute in these areas......However, women remain greatly underrepresented in some areas, such as physical sciences, computing and engineering."

This is also "unsourced & PoV". If we are going to delete one political POV, then delete them all. Is the purpose of the article to only document women in science OR promote it? If the 2nd, then the globalization issue is as legitimate as any other promotional statement that is currently in the article.

--Tablizer 04:55, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd support the removal of all the POV commentary and moving the page to History of women in science (as has been discussed before). The article tries to do to much as is.--Peta 06:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I'd agree with moving most of the present article to History of women in science. Did anyone object to the proposal when it was discussed before? I added some stubby stats sections from UK & US education data (now amalgamated) which might remain under Women in science. Espresso Addict 16:13, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • The question of whether women are underrepresented is a simply factual one. The question of its base cause is open to more interpretation but the quoted text only really addresses from the 17th-late-19th century, and I think most historians would agree that the major reason there was exclusion from education (this was not, of course, limited to women — all people who were excluded from education had a very hard time of being involved in science, whether they were excluded because of their class, their race, or their sex); the section on management of off-sourcing is pure speculation about the future; it is a very different type of claim for the latter. --Fastfission 12:38, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Do you have an authorative reference or two for the education point? I'm limited in this area by what's freely available online. Espresso Addict 16:42, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • The conclusions section (which I believe I wrote the first draft of) was intended to summarise what's said in the article, and as such is sourced by the article itself. On a re-read this seems pretty clear. However, the essay in Ref 2 is also applicable to the sentence following the one it's cited in; I'll add this citation for clarity. Espresso Addict 15:41, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't preference be explored a bit more? There are many fields of study where women (in general) are obviously just less interested. Trying to be politically correct (sp?) should not mask grossly evident trends in this respect... For example, in my university, total female medicine students are slightly more than male ones (probably not statistically significant), but students of some branches of engineering are 'almost only' male (while there are some branches of engineering where there is not so much difference). There are also branches of medicine specialization which men prefer to follow and some others preferred by women (for example around here, many women like studying pathology or forensics, and comparatively a little fraction prefer to be abdominal surgeons or gynecologists). I'm sure that such trends vary with different cultures, but i feel that differences in gender proportions within science students are too much blamed on unequality of opportunities, skipping the importance of plain preference. (Note: Of course, the history of unfairness between genders is an obviously important influence especially for women who already have finished their studies in this age.. for example we have a female president for the first time in the history of my country, but I'm sure she's the first because of recent improvement of the culture of gender equality, not because she's the only chilean woman in history to qualify as president) --Guruclef 16:26, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

What you describe -- gender disparities in particular fields -- are statistics, not reasons. "Preference" is a presumed reason. It's not much of a reason. Obviously, women "prefer" to go into other fields; the real question is why the preference. Sexism, lack of mentors, lack of role models, lack of support? Or some innate biological urge to study pathology versus gynecology? As it happens, despite centuries of speculation and belief, very little data supports the argument that women's career choices are based on such innate biological "preferences", and plenty of data to support the social causes. In biology, for instance, for 20 years women have made up half the phds, with the expectation and interest in doing academic faculty; but they fall out of the pipeline after the phd. If you're interested in the reasons for the discrepancies, start by reading Beyond Bias and Barriers, the recent report by the US National Academy of Sciences (the prepub is available for free at ). Historically, this argument of "preference" (innate ability) is nothing new: people have argued that women have less preference or ability for learning, period; then argued this about science versus other fields of learning; then hard science versus soft science; then particular fields within hard science; and so on -- none of these innate preference/ability arguments have stood the test of time. So for now, such innate preference/ability arguments are simply a POV assertion, and one that has been historically linked with arguments we now recognize as sexist. If you want to talk about differences between the sexes in mental ability (Sex and intelligence), there is such an article; but as of yet there is little beyond speculation (such as Larry Sommers') to link such putative differences to career choices. --LQ 17:58, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
I will check out more sources about this, as I find it an interesting subject. But still I want to discuss something a bit more: I don't understand why you think that "preference" means "innate ability" or a measure of intelligence. To continue my (not so good?) example, I think pathology is a much more "advanced" science than gynecology (the latter is more of an art than a science), so if women prefer pathology, it doesn't mean they are less intelligent; however this isn't the point I'm interested in (the difference in 'difficulty'). When I talk about preference, I mean just that: Personally liking more certain areas of science just because you find them more entertaining or interesting. It's true that many people like to study what comes 'easy' to them, but really, most people who have the liberty to study whatever they choose, will study what they find more entertaining or interesting, even if it's hard to learn, it is obvious that there is dimorphism in certain brain structures between both sexes (at least in their inner workings, if not their structure), and by that I'm not trying to say that men or women should be expected to have 'less' choices compared to the other; I just think (and I guess i'm not alone in this?? Or am I?) that both sexes may have different tendencies to like one "half" of science compared to other "half" (obviously with most of the areas of preference of both sexes intersecting themselves). As I mentioned before, I'm trying hard to express myself here in english, but what I mean is (very simplified): If men have more of hormone A, which via neuroendocrine pathways _will_ have impact on the way their brain is formed, one would suppose that it could form a brain that would stimulate the 'reward' stimulus more easily when studying a certain 'half' of science (to generalize), without having any relationship with the person's skill at it; the same with women, who have more of hormone B, could prefer some other areas of science, even if they can work in any of all the areas of science, and even if they are better than men in all of them. This tendency could be slight, or it could be a strong force (but as you suggested, one would need to rule out every other 'presumed cause' first). Obviously it would express itself in large population statistics, not in small groups.--Guruclef 08:18, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Now I read the article more carefully (or was it updated?) and I see that there is mention of this 'supposed preference' thing, but it also appears linked with 'intelligence' again.. I don't understand why. I'm more interested in this paragraph:

"In the UK, women occupied over half the places in science-related higher education courses (science, medicine, maths, computer science and engineering) in 2004/5. However, gender differences by individual subject were large: women substantially outnumbered men in biology and medicine, especially nursing, while men predominated in maths, physical sciences, computer science and engineering." So, if women study more medicine and biology, why would that mean that they are less intelligent, in any way? (Why not say that men are less intelligent, since less new doctors are male..) And even, in this case (of the UK), there were more total women in high education courses. The possibility that men could like computer science more than biology, and women like biology more than computer science (in large statistics) has to be something bad? I feel that there is some kind of philosophical reason for both sexes to distribute their career preference in an equal and uniform way, more than a 'scientific explanation'. Of course, it's only an idea.. --Guruclef 08:37, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

I never said that "preference" equates to "less intelligence". I only said that "preference" is itself a vague term and needs to be defined. You are confusing "liking" or "preferring" something with the reasons why one might like or prefer something. You also seem to go back and forth between talking about "preference" and "tendency" as an individual, personal preference or tendency ("I prefer Coke to Pepsi") and using "preference" / "tendency" to suggest innate predispositions based on biological facts inextricably tied to sex, such as hormonal and physiological dimorphism.
So first you have to define what you mean by "preference". If we go with the "individual choice" meaning and not the "innate tendency" meaning, then it is completely meaningless to say that "In the 1990s, women prefer to go into pathology rather than gynecology in the United States"; that simply restates the statistics that there are, in fact, more women in pathology than in gynecology in the US in the 1990s, it doesn't say why such a thing exists. So it's meaningless to say "let's talk about preference" in the article if you simply mean "individual personal choice".
So you have to define the reasons for the statistics, and there are lots of possible reasons one might "prefer" field A over field B: encouragement as a child, genetic predisposition, hormonal floods, social pressure, etc. To tie individual preferences for particular professions to gender, you have to make a lot of assumptions: (A) there is obvious and unquestioned gender dimorphism; (B) physiological / biochemical differences are predictably related to mental skills and abilities; (C) mental skills and abilities are predictably related to career choices. That's a lot of assumptions, and you would have to make them and tie them into each and every field you're looking at, because each and every field you're looking at involves different sets of skills, etc, and I would point out that you have to control for the REALLY OBVIOUS variant that there is still, existing, very well-documented social factors at play. Changes over time and culture -- like the ones you listed in your first comment! -- strongly suggest that there are not innate "preferences" or "tendencies" but social factors at the play.
WP:talk is not a discussion board so if you want to have a philosophical discussion this is not the place. If you're proposing specific, concrete, well-justified changes for the article, then please make specific suggestions and we can talk about those changes. There are certainly ways to talk about the questions you've raised in a way that is appropriate for the article, but to my mind, it's all baseless speculation that has been historically advanced with a sexist agenda of justifying, rather than explaining or understanding, differential treatment for people based on their sex. --LQ 14:21, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I guess this is not the place for this discussion. Perhaps somewhere else I will find an explanation on why just suggesting possible primary differences in taste between women and men is supposed to automatically 'justify differential treatment of people' or considering a sex to be more intelligent than the other. user:guruclef-- 04:21, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I have marked this article as POV, and I would even extend some doubts as to whether it is, at all, dealing with an encyclopedic topic. In particular, I strongly suspect that there is a gender-feministic agenda behind its presence. Notably, GFs tend to ignore the actual number of male and female scientists in the past (as historical facts, irrespective of reasons) and try to paint an inaccurate picture of the proportions and the relative importance of various individuals.

As for POV, consider e.g. formulations like "Women have contributed to science from its earliest days, but as contributors they have generally not been acknowledged. Historians with an interest in gender and science have illuminated the contributions women have made, the barriers they have faced, and the strategies implemented to have their work accepted." Here a conclusion is foregone in an unscientific and unencyclopedic manner, and disputable statements are made. Notably, e.g., women who have contributed have typically been acknowledged (at least in "western" science). (talk) 01:55, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I have now read all comments here carefully and don't believe this article is as you suggest. I also am interested as a woman and a scientist, why you believe and use the term POV as I just looked up means one's own point of view; when I was reading I noticed a discussion board where editors talk about these POV opinions. I am wondering if you have placed this article on that noticeboard?Docsim (talk) 12:54, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Do you have a specific example from the article that would validate your "gender-feminist agenda" suspicion? Any particular portions in the article itself where you feel that an inaccurate picture has been painted that can be identified as such without relying on a suspicion? -xcuref1endx (talk) 22:35, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

POV is unfounded[edit]

Every article about women's contribution to the development of civilization could be labelled as "feminist". In fact, Western science has begun to acknowledge historical female scientists only in the 20th century, and notably thanks to such "feminist" writings; this article is completely encyclopaedic, and is disputable only in opinion of people like you who suspect a "feminist plot" everywhere.

Social reasons that caused women's low scientific activity are historical and encyclopaedic facts as well. How could be explained these reasons otherwise? That women have smaller brains? That they are more stupid than men? That women don't like science and prefer homework? A fully objective explication is needed. I'm waiting! SETI3 (talk) 16:39, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Why is POV unfounded?[edit]

You assume that women and men actually have the same abilities in all aspects, in the mean and also share the same standard derivation. How can you back that up? From the data i have seen it seems likely to not be the case, and if you cannot prove that women and men have an equal share of people who are actually able to contribute to sciences (or at least give some tight estimations), how would you want to prove that as contributors they have generally not been acknowledged?

In my point of view you could only prove that by showing a difference in the ability to publish and the actual number of published work or by actually have reports on the neglect of female scientific work (in the appropriate numbers).

If you actually have a report available that shows that the distribution of talent (for some science) is distributed in the same way among men as it is among women then please let me know. I would honestly be interested. Otherwise you would be the one who has to explain why this is not a POV statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Ada Lovelace[edit]

I've added a missing reference for Ada Lovelace; the full information is as follows:

On "In Our Time", BBC Radio 4, 6 March 2008, Doron Swade, Visiting Professor in the History of Computing at Portsmouth University, stated: "The point I wanted to pick up on, to be exact about Ada being credited with being the first programmer, she published the first thing we would now recognise as the first programme… because the first series of steps of instructions, we would now call it an algorithm, was published under her name, or at least, under her initials; the thing is that the work was Babbage's… The concept of a programme, what we would now call a programme… is based on Babbage's work before Lovelace had any major involvement in the analytic engines… The actual principle of a programme was Babbage's." [1] Esterson (talk) 18:36, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Lists considered harmful - BoingBoing[edit]

An article on BoingBoing today is leading to the expansion of lists of women in science in the World War II to the present section.

I'm not convinced that's a useful thing to do; the section lacks narrative and explanation; providing and expanding a list of scientists does not make good the section's lack, and begs two questions: the criteria for inclusion and, more importantly, "what on earth is the list trying to tell us?". The improvement needed in this article will come from what we can say about women in science in the period, not how many of them we can list. --Tagishsimon (talk) 19:25, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Per Tagishimon, this article as a few issues. In addition to not being encyclopedic in style, the divisions by time do not make it clear if it means they were born in a certain time, or they made their famous contributions in a certain time; the names could also use some organizing, perhaps by field of expertise. Jokestress (talk) 19:35, 9 February 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, this article needs more description and narrative in some sections. It is also somewhat confusing and the multiple warnings requiring expansion of the sections don't help in this regard. --Leinad-Z (talk) 14:58, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Another issue would be the subsections that are titled the same. If a section link is clicked from another article or a redirect, only the same-named section nearest to the TOP of the page will appear; that will not always be the section that was meant to be linked. Each section and subsection in an article must have its own, unique title. – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  00:44, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

problems with citations in lead, possible vandalism[edit]

The lead has: "Science is generally and historically a male-dominated field, and evidence suggests that this is due to stereotypes (e.g. science as "manly") as well as self-fulfilling prophecies.[1][2]" Footnote [1] says: "Summers, L. H. (2005). Remarks at NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce; the office of the President. Harvard University." [2]: "Nosek, B.A., et al. (2009). Women always feel the need to try and over hype their contributions to make it seem like they're important when they really aren't; when you hear of science the people that come to mind are all men. Women need their own special science where they don't have to compete with men for the attention. National differences in gender–science stereotypes predict national sex differences in science and math achievement. PNAS, June 30, 2009, 106, 10593–10597." The Lawrence Summers article summarizes Summers' ideas as presented at this conference in much more detail, and shows that the statement in the lead is not at all an accurate characterization of them. Footnote [2] looks like vandalism to me, it gives argumentative, ungrammatical text without saying whether that text is a quote from the source or a summary of it. This doesn't read like the level of writing you'd expect to see in published academic work, and the content is peurile.-- (talk) 17:27, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Statistics about women in science[edit]

I've been fixing the English in this section, and adding citation/who/contradiction tags, it really needs a complete re-write by someone who knows about this stuff, has access to some of these books and can write a decent Wikipedia article. I've tagged the section with an expert tag.

This paragraph in particular is beyond my ability to salvage:

Research on women's participation in the "hard" sciences such as physics and computer science speaks of the "leaky pipeline" model, in which the proportion of women "on track" to potentially becoming top scientists fall off at every step of the way, from getting interested in science and maths in elementary school, through doctorate, postdoc, and career steps. Various reasons are proposed for this, and although the existence of this trend in many countries and times suggests that there is a genetic or hormonal causal component, the vast differences in the "leakiness" of this pipe across the same countries and times argues also for a causal component that is cultural; the leaky pipeline is also applicable in other fields. In biology, for instance, women in the United States have been getting Masters degrees in the same numbers as men for two decades, yet fewer women get PhDs; and the numbers of women P.I.s have not risen.[1]

--Carbon Rodney 06:33, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Louise Luckenbill-Edds, "The 'Leaky Pipline:' Has It Been Fixed?",The American Society for Cell Biology 2000 WICB / Career Strategy Columns (11/1/2000).

this is not the case in all countries. I can talk from experience. Doctoral and master level training for women in asia pacific is quite diff to figures for women in the states.Docsim (talk) 04:19, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

@Docsim: I'm not sure if it's the case in the U.S. either. I seem to recall reading an article stating that the leaky pipeline model has been discredited; this article is sorely in need of more international perspectives - if you can find some good sources, it would be a great help. RockMagnetist (talk) 15:34, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
i looked into it more deeply and it seems that in the social sciences more females than males are receiving PhDs in the asia pacific.Docsim (talk) 01:41, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

Where is Men in Science?[edit]

I'm sorry...why do women get their own page in science? Is there an Africans in Science? Is there a Asians in Science? Seems a bit sexist to me. Of course, I' assuming good faith here. -- (talk) 08:10, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Feel free to start articles on these subjects. RockMagnetist (talk) 19:51, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

The problem with this article is a more fundamental one, it is not the discussion concerning the question whether this is an ideologically motivated entry, although that discussion is rightly included here. Any unjust elevation of a female's contribution to fundamental science automatically entails a denigration of the contributions of the men who made significant breakthroughs. There are of course several female scientists who existed but have essentially been forgotten. What is missed out on in this article is the fact that there have also been numerous male scientists who have essentially been forgotten. I have not found any argument why in particular it is necessary to single out the females in this category; also there is no evidence that the reason they are not remembered that well is any other than simply that their contribution to science was not sufficiently significant. I see this as an attempt to distort reality and impress on the reader an ideological outlook based on a distortion of the available evidence; the reality simply being that there were significant breakthroughs and scientists who are therefore remembered more than others. Among those scientists are the vast majority male and very few females. Among the insignificant contributions are also the vast majority male and very few females; each of the significant females (like Marie Curie) have already an entry in wikipedia. I therefore see no need for this article and I think it is damaging to the goals of wikipedia, to be an unbiased representation of the available facts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

^ ...Are you kidding me? This is the kind of person is who is editing this website? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:48, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

Feminist critique[edit]

Someone removed the section /* Feminist science */ with the summary 'This has no references and is entirely original research, but more importantly this is just a restatement of the decades old "postmodernist" critique of scientific knowledge as a social construction, there is nothing specifically feminist about it.' I think they're right about the section as it stood. However, there is a truly feminist critique of science. See Criticism_of_science#Feminist_critiques, Talk:Criticism_of_science#feminist_critique, and Talk:Criticism_of_science#feminism_and_science_texts. Much of it is not specifically about the role of women in science, so some thought will be needed about what belongs in this article. RockMagnetist (talk) 19:49, 8 November 2013 (UTC)

Woman teaching geometry[edit]

Not really true, it is an allegory. Geometry is personified as a woman - like iustitia is personified as a woman. GEEZERnil nisi bene 16:12, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

You're referring to the image, I presume. Click on it and you will get File:Woman_teaching_geometry.jpg, with a detailed description that agrees with your claim. Do you think the caption needs changing? RockMagnetist (talk) 04:36, 2 August 2014 (UTC)

First scientist[edit]

I'm no expert in History so this is more of a question... It says "Merit-Ptah (c. 2700 BCE), described in an inscription as "chief physician", is the earliest known female scientist". Won't that (year) actually make her the first (recorded) scientist in general? Bridenh (talk) 19:44, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Yes, it would – it seems that the first men are considered to be the pre-socratic philosophers, and it's difficult to find accurate dates for them, but few or none of them would date back to the 27th century BCE. It would be good if a historian could update the Science article for readers so more light could be shed on this. – Paine  16:38, 7 July 2015 (UTC)


Hi. Nice article. It's the main article in Category:Women and science, which is a sub-cat of Category:Science; therefore I think the article itself shouldn't be directly under Category:Science, too. Your thoughts? Thanks. Fgnievinski (talk) 12:35, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

This happens all the time. Sometimes articles are removed from categories for this very reason, and other times contributors keep the double categorization because it seems natural to keep an article in both categories so it may be more easily found by those readers who look for things in categories; this article probably falls into the latter sense. Joys! – Paine  16:45, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Substandard material in article[edit]

There is presently substandard material in the Recent controversies section. I've tried to remove it until the editor who presented it can learn to format it correctly, which I tried to help with by placing references on the new editor's talk page. Another contributor seems to think that some of the substandard material should remain in the article as it is, with no cleanup, it appears that editor would rather teach new editors how to edit war than how to edit. I feel I've done all I can, so I'm done with it. I was going to fix the material, but that other editor will probably edit war with me on that as well. So long. – Paine  01:57, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

There were two paragraphs. The first one was sourced although its reference citation needed better formatting, which was done; the second paragraph was unsourced, and also its tone was unencyclopedic, so it was discarded. Feel free to clean-up any substandard material left, just don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Fgnievinski (talk) 02:24, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for teaching new editors how we do things here at Wikipedia – first we edit war, then we do the job for them so they don't learn on their own. Thank you very much and Best of Everything to You and Yours! – Paine  02:55, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

Not supported?[edit]

In this edit, Aquillion stated that "This paper doesn't support the statements it's being used for here." But it surely isn't far off - the title of the paper is "National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track". Would it be acceptable if there was an explicit reference to the experiments? RockMagnetist(talk) 15:41, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

I was confused when I removed it; I mixed it up with an earlier paper by the same authors. But either way, I'm dubious about including it because a WP:SPA has been going through adding every paper by those authors to as many articles as possible; we already cover an earlier paper by them with similar results, and their papers are, as far as I can tell, WP:FRINGE in that they don't agree with the results of any other studies on the subject, so giving so much weight to them (by covering every result they got in detail) is WP:UNDUE. Eg. you can see some of the criticism of this study here, near the end. Possibly one sentence summarizing all their results would be fine as long as it noted that their results were controversial and that their methodology has been questioned; but covering every paper they produce individually strikes me as a mistake. --Aquillion (talk) 16:47, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
All good points. Since secondary sources are preferred in Wikipedia, maybe the Post article should be cited instead of the primary research. RockMagnetist(talk) 16:59, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Since someone reverted my edit, I'll reiterate what I said above: There's a danger of placing WP:UNDUE weight on those papers because a WP:SPA has been going around adding every paper by those authors to as many articles as possible. Beyond that, the paper doesn't quite say what the version they added says it does; the authors conclude that the underrepresentation of women in professional ranks is not solely caused by sexist hiring, promotion, and remuneration; the version added by the WP:SPA stated that it wasn't a cause at all, which goes beyond what even the paper's authors suggest. --Aquillion (talk) 12:10, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
Not using the papers is WP:UNDUE. It doesn't state "at all." Change the end to "mainly" not due to. Problem solved. --Mr. Magoo and McBarker (talk) 15:58, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 16:06, 29 February 2016 (UTC)  Done Both archives are of the "page not found" version. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 14:05, 14 March 2016 (UTC).

Examining and correcting[edit]

We say (though I will remove it shortly)

after examining other factors such as age, experience, and education as the causes of why there is a gap in success between men and women, they concluded that discrimination is the only explanation

The source says:

after correcting for age, experience, and education, discrimination remains the only explanation

The first would be a very important and interesting fact (if true) while the actual statement in the source is almost a truism.

We really need to be careful to read and understand sources for this article (and ideally look at their sources), and not make egregious mistakes like this.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 18:02, 14 March 2016 (UTC).

Equality with gender in science[edit]

Women have always struggled with having equal rights with everything. One problem they face is equality in science; when it came to winning a Nobel prize men usually won a lot more than women, not saving women never won anything. but a lot of these women contributed with the experiments and had some part in the winning of the Nobel prize, but in the science world men achievements were more focused on then women's. (User: andreabrisby) 8:24 , 27 October 2016 (Andreabrisby (talk) 01:25, 28 October 2016 (UTC))

Yes, there is no denying the tremendous impact of women on science and in so many other areas. For such a long time and with few exceptions, women seemed "happy" to stay in the background to allow men to receive all the honors. Times they are a changin', slowly but surely, and for the better. One fly that has always buzzed in my ointment is the fact that the Nobel prize thus far cannot be awarded after a deserving person dies; that is the only reason, in my opinion, that Henrietta Swan Leavitt, one of astronomy's favorite people in history, did not receive the Nobel for her great discovery of Cepheid variable stars. She died while the paperwork was still in the works and before she could receive the prize. Injustice is injustice, and one would think that if the Nobel people cannot come up with a special award that can be given posthumously, then how prestigious can their "it must be given to a living person" award really be?  Paine  u/c 13:50, 21 November 2016 (UTC)

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Ben Barres; and Rosalind Franklin and James Watson's criticism of her[edit]

I'm not quite sure where it would/could fit in, but the experience of Dr. Ben Barres, as explained in the section Ben_Barres#Experience_of_sexism (tl;dr - as a Trans man, after transition he's heard statements like "his work is better than his sister's") seems like it could be relevant somewhere, in documenting the "uphill battle" that many women face in being respected in science.

Similarly, I'm not sure where it would fit in or what the citation would be (beyond his book), but my professor for a Molecular genetics course spent some time during a lecture about Rosalind Franklin's work explaining to us that Watson and Crick's work in "elucidating the structure of DNA" had really all but been solved by Dr. Franklin, but that her work had been stolen and essentially plagiarized by Drs Watson and Crick; some of this is even touched on in the article The Double Helix#Criticism and the first sentence of James Watson#Controversies, as well as this article and this article touch on this controversy.

Because of the ways those all relate to how women in science have been systematically overlooked, ignored, criticize, or otherwise had their work taken (without proper credit given), it seems like these might be worthwhile things to work into the article Women in science. Unfortunately I don't have the authoring prowess (nor confidence - see bullet-point #3 here, and see bullet-point #3 in this article from the Gender gap page) to put these things onto the main Article page of "Women in science".

PolymathGirl (talk) 06:40, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

To PolymathGirl: I've been a registered editor for nearly eight years, and I'm not sure I know the best way to include this material, except to say that where it is added, it should be accompanied by appropriate reliable sources. The only way to learn how to edit this encyclopedia is to go ahead and edit it, PolymathGirl. Don't be concerned with breaking things or possibly making a bad edit, because other editors will continue to make improvements on your work; that is the true beauty of Wikipedia! Make a decision, a choice, and just edit. Happy New Year!  Paine Ellsworth  u/c 12:47, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

New data on women's participation in science and engineering[edit]

Hi, I have just added new data to the Statistics section; the data come from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, which compiles these data from government surveys of 195 countries every two years. The data have been published in Chapter 3 and the Statistical Annex of the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (published in 2015), which is given as the source. Note that the material from this publication is open access and may be reproduced on Wikipedia's pages, with or without rephrasing, without any copyright infringement. --Susan Schneegans (talk) 09:14, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

Women in Physics/Biology pages[edit]

I was curious on why there was no Women in Physics/Biology pages/why it is forwarded to Women in Science? There is a page for women in geology, chemistry, and so on. So why is there no page for the women physicists/biologists? Even just a basic list with some information like the other women in ... pages. Especially since the gender gap within this field is so apparent for physics. I think it would be beneficial to have a page that shows a strong representation of the leading women in these fields. I'd be happy to start these pages, just want to make sure this discussion had not already taken place. --Kate Madsekad (talk) 16:38, 8 March 2019 (UTC)