U of Wisconsin to offer a post-doc in ‘feminist biology’ because science is sexist

Campus Reform Reporter

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  • The focus of the two-year program will conduct scientific research from a feminist viewpoint, “uncover and reverse gender bias in biology” and to “develop new theory and methods in biology that affect feminist approaches.”
  • The University of Wisconsin - Madison (UW) has announced it will offer a post-doctorate in “feminist biology” because biological science is rife with sexism and must be changed to reflect feminist thinking.

    The focus of the program will be to “uncover and reverse gender bias in biology” and to “develop new theory and methods in biology that affect feminist approaches,” according to a news release posted by the college on April 17.

    “It means being able to detect gender bias in previous research and ... figuring out ways to move forward in research and theory that removes the gender bias.” - Janet Hyde   

    Hyde said such a program is necessary because sexism among male scientists’ sometimes makes them incapable of accurate research.

    “All human beings have gender stereotypes in their brain,” she said. “Gender stereotypes are pervasive … people just don’t see things or don’t appreciate them or don’t process them when they don’t conform to stereotype notions,” Hyde told Campus Reform in an interview on Thursday.

    The two-year program will focus on conducting scientific research from a feminist viewpoint, Janet Hyde, the director of the Campus Center for Research on Gender and Women, said in an interview with Campus Reform on Thursday.

    “It means being able to detect gender bias in previous research and ... figuring out ways to move forward in research and theory that removes the gender bias,” she said.

    For example, Hyde said, scientists had once had an inaccurate understanding of the sexual behaviors of primates — and that was clearly due to their sexism.

    “Females of these species were portrayed as being passive or uninterested in sex, and that was reflective of gender stereotypes in humans,” she said. “The females solicited sex all the time.”

    The first post-doctoral fellow, Caroline VanSickle, will begin the program in September.

    “We aren’t doing science well if we ignore the ideas and research of people who aren’t male, white, straight, or rich,” VanSickle said in an email to Campus Reform. “Feminist science seeks to improve our understanding of the world by including people with different viewpoints. A more inclusive science means an opportunity to make new discoveries.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf

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