GEO 499H/599

Great Women of Science

Fall 2003, 1 credit

Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Wilkinson 127

Dr. Dawn Wright

Professor, Department of Geosciences

Wilkinson 114, 7-1229

dawn@dusk.geo.orst.edu, http://dusk.geo.orst.edu

 

Textbooks:

REQUIRED: Wasserman, E., 2000. The Door in the Dream: Conversations With Eminent Women in Science, Joseph Henry Press, New York, 300 pp., ISBN 0309065682.

REQUIRED: Course Reader containing various articles.

OPTIONAL: Polk, M. and Tiegreen, M., 2001. Women of Discovery: A Celebration of Intrepid Women Who Explored the World, Clarkson Potter, New York, 256 pp., ISBN: 0609604805

 

Objectives and Assignments:

The objectives of this seminar are to explore and celebrate the emergence of women in science, while preparing students for the barriers and challenges that may still be faced. Discussion topics will include the nature and culture of science, testimonies of women scientists, discussions of their contributions to science, and consideration of the unique advantages and disadvantages for women within the scientific community. Students will be exposed to readings on the above topics and will be expected to lead the class in the discussion of at least one of the readings.

 

Schedule

Week

Topic

Leader(s)

1 – Oct 2

Intro to Course &

Historical Perspectives

Dawn Wright

Ron Doel, Geosci./History

Kris Harper, History

2 – Oct 9

Pipeline Theory

Students

3 – Oct 16

Culture of Science

Students

4 – Oct 23

Gender Issues:

Thinking, Learning, Asking Questions as a Woman Scientist

Students

5 – Oct 30

Great Women of Science I

Guest speakers

Candace  Croney, Animal Sci.

Anita Grunder, Geosciences

6 – Nov 6

Great Women of Science II

Guest speakers

Kelly Faulkner, Oceanogr.

Kate Lajtha, Botany/Plt. Path.

7 – Nov 13

Great Women of Science III

Guest speakers

Julia Jones, Geosci.

Anne Trehu, Oceanogr.

8  - Nov 20

Networking, Career Resources

Students

9 - Nov 27

Graduate School/Academia

Students

10 – Dec 4

The "real world"

Dawn and Free Pizza!

 

Readings and Discussion Starters:

Week 1 – Introduction/Historical Perspectives

General introduction to the course, its purpose and format, assignments, evaluation, syllabus, etc. And then we will have Dr. Ron Doel of the Departments of History and Geosciences and Dr. Kristine Harper, historian of science, give a presentation about their work on the history of women in science.

 

Students should read the introductory chapter of Door in the Dream. and the introductory articles included with this syllabus.

 

Week 2 – Pipeline Theory

Introduction and Chapter 3 from Schiebinger’s Has Feminism Changed Science?, plus profile of your choice from “Door in the Dream”

 

Optional: What is Science, Really?

While discussing women in science, it is also helpful to take a look at science in general from various perspectives, so that we may begin to understand what we are really dealing with: the culture of science, the scientific community, and the interaction between science and broader society. It will be important to remember that science is conducted by fallen humans who bring their inherent biases into play.

 

 (annotations below and throughout from Beverly Skillings’ Women in Science seminar resources at Brown U.)

Science as a methodology:

Bauer, H.H., 1992. The so-called scientific method in, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, University of Illinois Press. Chicago, pp. 19-41.

An excellent book. How insights gained in the science, technology and society community can serve to help anyone. A crucial point is that scientists are human and this describes how science actually “works.”

Science as a human endeavor:

Bauer, H.H., 1992. How science really works, in Bauer, H.H., Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method, University of Illinois Press. Chicago, pp. 42-62.

 

Week 3 – Culture of Science

Students will lead discussions of up to 3 papers below,  but should also read a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream.

 

Barns, B. and Edge, D., (eds.), 1982. The culture of science, in Science in Context: Readings in the Sociology of Science, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 65-74.

 

Heilbrun, C. G., 2001. Men were the only models I had, Chronicle of Higher Education, October 12, B7-B12.

In the 1950s, a female admirer of Clifton Fadiman, Lionel Trilling, and Jacques Barzun knew she'd never be one of the boys. But the boys inspired her all the same.

 

Shahn, E., 1990. Science as another culture/Science as a part of culture, American Behavioral Scientist, 34(2): 210-222.

Looks at the notion and the problem of “science literacy.” The author claims that science is not an exclusionary culture in and of itself (?) but rather it is the way science is taught and perceived which makes it inaccessible to those who are not white middle-class males. Science is geared only to that segment of the population, and those who do not have the same socialization may not be able to comprehend the concepts as they are presented in this manner.

OR

Hamburg, D., 1994. Conclusion: Constructive responses to the changing social context of university-government relations, in Guston, D.H. and Keniston, K. (eds.), The Fragile Contract: University Science and the Federal Government, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 224-233. A good summary of the role of the process of grant funding in science research.

 

 

Week 4 – Gender Issues

Focus on the social and scientific gendering that is present in the culture of science. Relate those ideas to science education.

Think about the approaches to teaching science.... Are they effective on their own? Should the various methods be integrated? What should science education include? Reflect on your  own experiences.                

Think about the format of courses: lecture, discussion, lab, size, seating arrangement. Look at how material is presented, i.e. textbooks. How is science presented in the classroom? Does it cater to a particular learning style? What are the differences between how sciences are taught at the introductory level vs. the upper-level? What's wrong with the process of science education?                

 

Students will lead discussions of up to 3 papers below, but should also read:

Tobias, Sheila, 1992. Women in science - Women and science, Journal of College Science Teaching, April/May 1992, 276-278,  as well as a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream.

(1)

Etzkowitz H., Kemelgor C., Neuschatz M., and Uzzi B., 1994. Barriers to women's participation in academic science and engineering, in Pearson, W., Jr. and Fechter, A. (eds.) Who Will Do Science? Educating the Next Generation, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, pp. 43-67.

OR

Rosser, S., 1997. Female friendly science goes mainstream, in Rosser, S., Re-engineering Female-Friendly Science, Teachers College Press, New York, pp. 1-17.

OR

Rosser, S., 1997. Curriculum integration: Transformation or assimilation?, in Rosser, S., Re-engineering Female-Friendly Science, Teachers College Press, New York, pp. 19-37.

Includes chapters on how to make course content and pedagogy less alienating for women, sexism in textbooks, connecting to students by changing approaches in teaching science.

 

(2)

Kwan, M.-P., 2002. Is GIS for Women? Reflections on the critical discourse in the 1990s, Gender, Place and Culture, 9(3):271-279.

OR

Kwan, M.-P., in press. Feminist visualization: Re-envisioning GIS as a method in feminist geographic research, AAG Annals.

 

(3)

Ware N.C., Steckler N.A., and Lesserman J., 1985. Undergraduate women: Who chooses a science major? Journal of Higher Education, 56(1): 73-84.

Is this article still relevant today?

OR

Barton, A.C., 1998. Repositioning the discourses: Framing a science for all, in Barton, A.C., Feminist Science Education, Teachers College Press, New York, pp. 117-149.

 

Week 5 – Great Women of Science I

Reading assignment: a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream, as well as the chapter “Shared Experiences and Concerns".

Biographies and panel discussion by invited guests.

 

Week 6 – Great Women of Science II

Reading assignment: a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream, as well as the chapter “Balancing Career and Family".

Biographies and panel discussion by invited guests.

 

Week 7 – Great Women of Science III

Reading assignment: a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream, as well as the chapter “Righting the Balance”.

Biographies and panel discussion by invited guests.

 

Week 8 – Networking, Career Resources and Concerns

For discussion in class:

Hanson, S., 2000. Networking, The Professional Geographer, 52(4): 751-758, plus other resources.

 

Week 9 – Graduate School/Academia

Reading assignment: a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream, and for discussion in class (papers from a special focus section on women in geography in the 21st century – very applicable to all sciences):

Domosh, M., 2000, Unintentional transgressions and other reflections on the job search process, The Professional Geographer, 52(4): 703-708.

Seager, J., 2000. “And a charming wife”: Gender, marriage, and manhood in the job search process, The Professional Geographer, 52(4): 709-721.

Winkler, J.A., 2000. Faculty reappointment, tenure, and promotion: Barriers for women, The Professional Geographer, 52(4): 737-750.

 

Week 10 - The "Real World" After OSU

Reading assignment: a profile of their choice from Door in the Dream, as well as the chapter  “Conclusion.”

Discussion topics will include: what may happen after leaving the “cocoon” of OSU; adventures while working in the field (on land and at sea); family issues, etc.

Marcia McNutt PBS video.

Free Pizza!!!