Activity in Women In...: Stigma?

Tue Oct 14 10:02:14 EST 1997

>To:            womenbio at
>From:          junekk at (JuneKK)
>Subject:       Activity in Women In...: Stigma?
>Date:          14 Oct 1997 12:48:59 GMT
>Would anyone like to comment why it seems on many occasions, that to 
> about the need for organizations like AWIS (or "worse" to be active in 
> seems to infer to so many people (including many women scientists) 
>that then
> you must NOT be necessarily so committed to SCIENCE itself??
>Why the stigma?  
If it's any comfort, one of the comments at the national meeting of the 
Society for Practical and Professional Ethics was that unlike law and 
business, where belonging to an ethics society was often a plus,in 
science there was some kind of stigma involved in being involved in 
ethics.  Someone pointed out that it was like belonging to AWIS 10 years 
ago-you are looked on with suspicion as not dedicated.  I make it a 
point to put both these memberships on my CV, along with my science 
society  memberships-I think they are part of what makes me a good 
scientist.  I care about more than just the data at my bench. 

 But, my PI thinks I should never mention the ethics work, as he sees it 
as irrelevant and occasionally harmful depending on the attitude of the 
person reading the CV.  I think this is sad, but I also don't want to 
work for someone who thinks a good scientist is not  interested in equal 
opportunity or ethical standards.  Is there anyone out there who's sat 
on a search committee or been part of a tenure decision where this came 
up, who can shed some insight?  Or is this, like some of the other 
obstacles we're talked about, so subtle it's hard to point to?

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