Posted by: turtlebella | 20 September 2006


Interesting things I found on the website of the National Academy of Science…

  • Report on women in academic science and engineering (Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering 2006). Women are still under-represented at the rank of full professor, despite the fact that for the past 30 years women have represented 30% of PhDs in biological sciences. How to account for this? Attetion Larry Summers (and all those who vocally or silently believe the bastard): it’s not biological differences, and it’s not that men are better at math than women, it’s not that women are competitive enough or don’t want academic jobs, and it’s not that women are less productive, or that they value family life and family time more than men or that they take off more time than men due to childbearing (men take more sick leave so it balances out). So what is the problem? It’s that women face discrimination and inherent biases against women within academia. What a surprise (heavy with the sarcasm)! At all levels and aspects of academia. In the review process. In the recruitment and hiring process. At tenure and promotion. In receiving funding for their research. There’s also a NYTimes article about the report.
  • The number of uninsured Americans has increased. According to the US Census Bureau as of 2005 46.6 million people that have no health insurance, 8.3 million of those are children. The number is expected to keep rising. And less than 60% of people get their health insurance from their employer. How bad is this? Well, accoding to the Insitute of Medicine about 18,000 die prematurely every year because they haven’t got health insurance. How much do we need universal health care? Pretty damn badly! Aren’t we ashamed that the US is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage?

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