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Sexist Study About Women STEM Mentors Receives Backlash

BP World Bureau | Nov 27 2020 12:59:24 PM
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A study which concluded that women are poor mentors of young scientists, especially that of women, in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine), received tremendous backlash. 

The study that was published in the respected journal Nature Communications and the authors arrived at a gender-biased conclusion, which is that women in science should avoid female mentors for betterment. 

According to the research, junior women scientists who worked with women mentors on research received less acclaim and citations for their work.

They used an algorithm called Genderize to analyze a dataset including 215 million scientists and 222 million papers.

About this study, Rebecca Barnes, a geoscientist and co-principal investigator for a women’s mentorship grant, said that the study is sexist because the conclusion blamed women as individuals instead of the system that is biased against women. 

The study asked young women to avoid female mentors instead of pointing out that their data shows the system is biased against women despite credentials and achievements. 

Nature Communications paper underwent a peer-review process where the experts pointed out their concerns for the same. 

Dr. Leslie Vosshall, a neurobiologist, wrote an open letter to the editor-in-chief of Nature Communications asking the journal to rescind the article.

So far the study is still up but with a note which states that the investigations regarding the paper are still up.