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A Debate on Encouraging Women in Science & Engineering

A Debate on Encouraging Women in Science & Engineering

Among students, teachers, and practitioners of science and engineering in Canada, women are often in the minority. Approximately 22% of undergraduate students and about 5% of faculty in Engineering are women. In Biology, approximately 60% of the undergraduates are women, but faculty, at 25%, revert to the minority pattern. Trend data indicate that with no outside interventions, these ratios are fairly persistent. interventions, that is, programs which promote the participation of women or other minorities, have been criticized by some for diluting the quality of science delivered by the intervention group. These 'meritocrats' argue that merit suffers when access and equality increase. This talk presents a counter-argument. It shows that by using a narrow definition of what constitutes scientific knowledge, the 'meritocritics' have missed the reality, and the potential, of modern science. From both the academic and the social points of view, quality of science is enhanced by a diversity of thinking styles. The conclusion is that by preserving the status quo, we miss substantial opportunities for advancement of science and engineering in Canada. Target Audience: 2-4 Year College...


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