good climate

jwinters at gems.vcu.edu jwinters at gems.vcu.edu
Tue Jun 18 12:38:13 EST 1996


In article <4q4apg$mts at lynx.unm.edu>, lhyatt at pegasus.unm.edu (laura a hyatt)
writes:
> In this vein, I'd be interested in hearing what changes ought to be made 
> not merely in the culture of science practice, but in science training 
> (which, of course, inevitably leads to the culture of practice).  More 
> than half of the women in my grad. program quit without their PhD's 
> (sometimes getting terminal masters) For men, it's more like 1/3.  Having 
> been to a women's college, the coed grad. school classroom was a big 
> shocker; I wasn't used to being talked over, having my comments ignored 
> by the group, then restated and applauded by others.  

This sounds like a truly unfortunate situation.  Since it does not mirror
my grad school experiences in any way (I'm a fifth year PhD candidate), I
can't offer much advice, except of course to assert yourself.  While this
may be difficult at first, the rewards of having learned to do so may well
be worth it.

Which brings me to a tangential topic - single sex education.  I understand
the arguments that it's a great way for women to learn to express themselves
and learn in an uninhibited manner, but does this really help those women?
I personally don't believe single sex education is the best route for
educating women (or men), namely because the world is not single sex. 
Perhaps I don't get talked over or ignored by the males that I interact
with (as fellow students and faculty) because I have learned how to deal
with men in an academic and professional manner.  I'd love to hear other
opinions about single sex education and it's ramifications on those women
when they leave the same-sex environment.

> What can we do to amend the atmosphere in grad school, which appears to 
> be a pretty big filter itself, after the family/primary/high 
> school/college filters have been survived?  
> 
> Eagerly awaiting responses.
> 
> Laura
> 
> --
> 
> *******************************************************************
> Laura Hyatt			   <><><><><><><><><><>
> University of New Mexico	 Madness takes its toll.
> Department of Biology		 Please have exact change.
> Albuquerque, NM 87131		   <><><><><><><><><><>
> 				   
> *******************************************************************

My field is human genetics.  In my program (at the Medical College of 
Virginia) we have about a 1:1 ratio of male to female faculty members, even 
amongst the most senior positions.  I know it is not this way in all genetics 
departments, but maybe genetics is a bit better off compared to other 
biological sciences.  If not an equal number, we probably have slightly more 
female than male students, with equal or more male drop outs.  My department 
definitely seems to run counter to many other places.  I guess I'll count 
myself lucky.

Jenny Winters



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