Women Win a Tiny Percentage of Research Awards from Scientific Societies

A study published in the journal Social Studies of Science finds that women win significantly fewer awards for their research than men. The study looked at awards given out by 13 scientific and medical societies in 1991 and 2010.

The research found that women won 78 percent more awards in 2010 than in 1991. But the data showed that women won just 10 percent of the awards for scholarship and research but 32.2 percent of the awards for service and 37.1 percent of the awards for teaching.

Seven of the societies in the study cooperated with the authors to examine their award procedures. They found that women won just 5 percent of the awards when the award panel was headed by a man but won 23 percent of the prizes when the award panel was headed by a woman.

Lead author of the study, Anne E. Lincoln, an assistant professor of sociology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, wrote, “A large body of social science research finds that work done by women is perceived as less important or valuable than that done by men.”

Dr. Lincoln is a graduate of North Carolina State University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in sociology from Washington State University. She has been on the faculty at SMU since 2006.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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