Building Two-Way Streets to Implement -Policies that Work for Gender and Science

  • Sue V. Rosser


In Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering, Londa Schiebinger (2008) gives a succinct and insightful analysis of three levels at which policies in federal agencies have impacted gender and science: (1) research support to increase the participation of women in science; (2) transformation of the structures of institutions to make them more accessible and friendly to women scientists; and (3) reconceptualization of research to include women and gender in its focus and analysis of results. She points out that most agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have done quite well at level 1, and that NIH and some of the international agencies, such as the European Union (EU) have begun to focus on level 3, with explicit policies requiring gender and sex differences in focus and analyses (Schiebinger, 2008). In contrast, NSF has done little with level 3, but has begun, particularly through its ADVANCE initiative to work on level 2. Building two-way streets that allow cross-talk and sharing of policies between NSF and NIH might permit each to learn from the other about policies that work for gender and science in the area in which each has done pioneering work. Here, I will provide a brief history of women's programs at NSF, which documents the shift in NSF policies over time from a focus on level 1 to level 2.


National Science Foundation Affirmative Action Woman Faculty Georgia Tech Woman Scientist 
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  • Sue V. Rosser

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