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Women in Science & Engineering: What the Research Really Says

A panel presentation co-sponsored by WISELI and the Science Alliance

Harvard President Lawrence Summers remarked that women's under-representation at the highest levels of STEM careers is (1) primarily caused by "intrinsic aptitude" differences between men and women in math and science ability, and (2) only to a lesser extent caused by overt or "passive discrimination or stereotyping."

In a panel moderated by Professor Jo Handelsman (Plant Pathology, and co-Director of the Women in Science & Engineering Leadership Institute), UW-Madison experts commented on the scientific evidence for Summers' claims, focusing on:

Women in Science: What the Research Really Says — Introductory Remarks

Are there gender differences in brain structure?

How does the brain respond to social competition?

What is the evidence for gender disparities in mathematics test scores?

Panel Discussion – #1

How do unconscious biases and assumptions affect the careers of women in scientific and engineering fields?

What is the current status of women in science and engineering fields at the UW-Madison?

Panel Discussion – #2