Women in Science Courses (was BIOnic woman)
lkista at UNM.EDU
Wed Feb 19 11:07:21 EST 1997
On Tue, 18 Feb 1997, Veronica I. Arreola wrote:
> On 18 Feb 1997, Linnea Ista wrote:
> > Did I miss something over the weekend? Has the name of the group been
> > changed to "women in biology newsgroup and singles bar?"
> > Or could this post be considered a "job announcement?"
> > Just wondering if I was the only one who was disconcerted by this post!
> > Linnea
> No, you're not the only one. When I started to read it , I was like, what
> the ....??? But you know we are a bunch of women and what better way to
> find an intelligent women but to post here? ;) Hey I'm only kidding! I
> guess that's the price we pay by not having this moderated.
> Let's get on to something bigger...
> How do you all feel about grad students getting an empahsis in
> women's/feminist/gender studies that focused on women in science? Do you
> think that being knowledgable in our (aka women in science) history is
> important enough for women to be "certified" (lack of better word) in the
> Many times we have discussed women in science courses, but who teaches
> these? Scientists who know little about feminist theory or women who know
> tons on feminist theory but know very little about how science and how it
> feels to be a women scienctist?
I taught one of these courses once. I was asked by the department chair
(I was a visiting instructor) because, I suspect I was a young female
scientist, and as he put it "have probably thought about the subject from
time to time" I had very little *formal* grounding (i.e. classes) in
feminist theory, but had read extensively on the subject. I called my
course "Women *and* science" because science affects all women and in
addition to discussing the history of women in science (which I found
fascinating!) and the issues facing modern women in science, we also
discussed things such as research on biological basis of gender roles,
assumptions science has traditionally made about women, and how having
women, particularly feminist women, within science has drastically
changed some of these assumptions (I found this particularly amazing in
The class was, much to my surprise mostly men. (6 of 8). The department
got the class certified as being able to meet a society unit requirement,
so I think that is why there were so many men in the class. That and as
one admitted later, he thought it would be a great place to
meet intelligent women (grin). I think for those that were genuinely
interested, the class was interesting and we all learned something.
Would it have helped had I had a more formal grounding in gender studies?
At least for resources, definitely. I think if I had to do it again, it
would be cool to team teach it with someone who *does* have a formal
grounding in gender studies. But would I seek formal training throughout
my graduate career to teach just one class? I don't know if most
universities, especially small ones, like the one that I was at, have the
resources to hire someone to teach just one class.
Just my $0.02
Great topic, by the way!
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