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Kylie.Shanahan at ffp.csiro.au Kylie.Shanahan at ffp.csiro.au
Mon Feb 3 18:31:18 EST 1997

Susan Forsberg wrote:

>For a field that prides itself on objective evaluation of data,
>science is doing ridiculously poorly.  My sister-in-law is in 
>business and interacts a lot with academics;  in her opinion, 
>academics are at least 10 years behind in waking up and including 
>"different" sorts of people, so they are losing an enormous talent
>pool.  She points out that business can't afford to waste talent
>like this, and knows it. 

I've seen this in a slightly different way in my department recently.  There's 
a short conference on next week to celebrate 30 years of graduates from my 
dept and on the first day there's a range of posters, displays and talks.  My 
supervisor who, incidentally, is the only woman lecturer in the department, 
had to point out to the organising committee that there was not *one* woman 
speaker for the whole day!  You can't tell me that in 30 years there has not 
been one woman graduate who has made a significant contribution to 
Agricultural Science!  The organising committee's response was that no women 
had offered to speak when the invitations were sent out, and they didn't need 
to pursue the matter any further.  Naturally, they've got some truly terrible 
speakers on the program, who happened to respond to the request for 
contributions.  Fortunately the program has been reorganised and at the least 
my supervisor is speaking now, but it's really not good enough that it took 
her to point this imbalance out.  It really makes me wonder if I'll ever 
succeed in science, or even if I *want* to, if I'm going to be constantly 
fighting against that kind of institutional ignorance.


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