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bias in peer review?

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Wed Jun 4 12:36:19 EST 1997

In article <1997Jun4.105750.5734 at clp2>, Robin Panza <panzar at clpgh.org> wrote:
>In article <3394C7FE.6949 at vasilisa.com>, welshwytch <violette at vasilisa.com> writes:
>> To work that hard, to sacrifice your life to the research track,
>> and then get screwed by a team of irresponsible and under-accountable
>> "peers" injecting their personal feelings about women into
>> supposedly objective judgments about the allocation of PUBLIC
>> funds....  arrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
>> We need the facts about American peer review now.
>Yes, we need the ****facts****, not hysteria!  You appear to have already tried
>and convicted the "men" of NSF and it's peer review pool!  That's just as
>sexist as what you are objecting to--judging others based on gender and
>position instead of finding out what *those individuals* are doing/saying.  

While I agree with Robin's point, basically, that we shouldn't be judging
others on gender either, I'd like to point out that there was no reference
to "men" of NSF in welshwytch's post, nor any reference to gallows.
It sounded to me like she was just frustrated, not ready to go out and
hang anyone.  It seems as if there's a bit of "hysterical"  rushing to 
judgement going on on both sides.

Unfortunately, in other studies of this sort, it hasn't been shown to be
only men who engage in sexism--women too, when reading the exact same
paper with either a male or female name attached, tended to judge the 
paper with the female name more harshly.  Before rushing to judge others,
we should probably make sure our own attitudes are in the right place.


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