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Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education

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STEM disciplines are believed to be founded on the idea of meritocracy; recognition earned by the value of the data, which is objective. Such disciplinary cultures resist concerns about implicit or structural biases, and yet, year after year, scientists observe persistent gender and racial inequalities in their labs, departments, and programs. In Equity in Science, Julie P STEM disciplines are believed to be founded on the idea of meritocracy; recognition earned by the value of the data, which is objective. Such disciplinary cultures resist concerns about implicit or structural biases, and yet, year after year, scientists observe persistent gender and racial inequalities in their labs, departments, and programs. In Equity in Science, Julie Posselt makes the case that understanding how field-specific cultures develop is a crucial step for bringing about real change. She does this by examining existing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts across astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and psychology. These ethnographic case studies reveal the subtle ways that exclusion and power operate in scientific organizations and, sometimes, within change efforts themselves. Posselt argues that accelerating the movement for inclusion in science requires more effective collaboration across boundaries that typically separate people and scholars--across the social and natural sciences, across the faculty-student-administrator roles, and across race, gender, and other social identities. Ultimately this book is a call for academia to place equal value on expertise, and on those who do the work of cultural translation. Posselt closes with targeted recommendations for individuals, departments, and disciplinary societies for creating systemic, sustainable change.


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STEM disciplines are believed to be founded on the idea of meritocracy; recognition earned by the value of the data, which is objective. Such disciplinary cultures resist concerns about implicit or structural biases, and yet, year after year, scientists observe persistent gender and racial inequalities in their labs, departments, and programs. In Equity in Science, Julie P STEM disciplines are believed to be founded on the idea of meritocracy; recognition earned by the value of the data, which is objective. Such disciplinary cultures resist concerns about implicit or structural biases, and yet, year after year, scientists observe persistent gender and racial inequalities in their labs, departments, and programs. In Equity in Science, Julie Posselt makes the case that understanding how field-specific cultures develop is a crucial step for bringing about real change. She does this by examining existing equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts across astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and psychology. These ethnographic case studies reveal the subtle ways that exclusion and power operate in scientific organizations and, sometimes, within change efforts themselves. Posselt argues that accelerating the movement for inclusion in science requires more effective collaboration across boundaries that typically separate people and scholars--across the social and natural sciences, across the faculty-student-administrator roles, and across race, gender, and other social identities. Ultimately this book is a call for academia to place equal value on expertise, and on those who do the work of cultural translation. Posselt closes with targeted recommendations for individuals, departments, and disciplinary societies for creating systemic, sustainable change.

39 review for Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Layne

    This book is an essential read for any individual interested in equity and inclusion. Posselt's research leverages a mixed-methods approach to demonstrate why representation and number-based metrics will not shift the needle, but also a keen practical guide to implementing the work in phases. Posselt provides introductory chapters that showcase theories, and her compelling style of writing draws concepts, quotes, and examples from all disciplines. The theory does not feel static or challenging t This book is an essential read for any individual interested in equity and inclusion. Posselt's research leverages a mixed-methods approach to demonstrate why representation and number-based metrics will not shift the needle, but also a keen practical guide to implementing the work in phases. Posselt provides introductory chapters that showcase theories, and her compelling style of writing draws concepts, quotes, and examples from all disciplines. The theory does not feel static or challenging to understand, as Posselt uses scenarios and draws from cases that feel familiar (sometimes all-too-familiar) to many who work in higher education or those who have been on the receiving end of bias. For me, reading evidence-based practices that can impart change on my own life and workplace felt incredibly valuable. Some of the work felt lifted from my lived experience, and my hope is that those who have the power to make change and those who strive to make the world more equitable will take up the recommendations laid out in this book. I know I will. Disclaimer: I've done work with Posselt. I care deeply about these issues. I am very biased in favor of her work.

  2. 5 out of 5

    JJ

    An important book on equity in science, and I learned a lot. It does get repetitive and was too long, in my opinion. How many time does one have to read that depts have stopped using GRE scores? I also found it dense, with words like "mimetric isomorphism" used. Still I rate it 4 stars due to the plethora of examples and stories used - which are very useful. An important book on equity in science, and I learned a lot. It does get repetitive and was too long, in my opinion. How many time does one have to read that depts have stopped using GRE scores? I also found it dense, with words like "mimetric isomorphism" used. Still I rate it 4 stars due to the plethora of examples and stories used - which are very useful.

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    Renee

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    dwp

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    Sophia

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