I polished off Athene Donald’s manifesto, Not Only for the Boys: Why We Want Extra Ladies in Science on the weekend. Athene is a buddy in addition to the Grasp of my faculty (Churchill) at Cambridge so I used to be going to be well-disposed in the direction of the guide, and certainly discovered it each persuasive (not that it will have taken a lot) and a superb learn. There may be loads of proof offered, statistics are cited, however you don’t really feel as in case you’re being sledge-hammered as a reader. There may be an excessive amount of frequent sense for it to come back throughout as pure polemic, together with the purpose that excessive gender imbalances within the different path should not wholesome for society or the method of discovery both.
The principle level that stands out for me is that the male skew is highest in all of the disciplines the place ‘brilliance’ or being ‘actually, actually sensible’ is seen as the important thing attribute. So “in science” is an over-generalisation. What’s wanted is extra girls in physics, pc science, maths, and in addition philosophy and naturally economics. A few of the different pure and human sciences in addition to many arts topics (however not music composition, surprisingly) skew feminine. ‘Brilliance’ isn’t simply ‘intelligent however extra so’; it’s a sort of performative intelligence demanding supreme self-confidence, and I’m a bit suspicious of it normally; or, reasonably, suppose it results in different kinds of perception and attributes being inappropriately undervalued.