Science research councils have increasingly encouraged their grant-holders to engage with the public about their work and for many research grants some form of public engagement is now a necessity. But whom do these scientists end up engaging?
They find–for reasons unexplained in the article–that men disproportionally read science news.
[M]en are more likely to actively choose to consume science in their free time and the bias is much greater than that seen in formal education.
They report that although half of podcast listeners are female, women make up 10-33% of science podcast listeners. Similar trends exist for reading science news and blogs. The article does not explain why. Perhaps there are inherent biases in how news is presented to attract men? I would be interested in a reasonable explanation.
The question is, do women read this blog? Based on the comments, I’d say yes.
I started writing this blog without gender in mind. At some point, I made a conscious effort to occasionally write more about my personal life as a female geek (like the last two weeks, when I blogged about baking and sewing). I did this in part to address some of the STEM stereotypes that are decidedly male (like this list–the first item assumes that the presumably male engineer has a wife), which at one time made me feel somewhat excluded from the “real” STEM community of engineer/OR geeks in my case. I have learned learned that I do in fact belong. I have met many geeky women who have had similar experiences. This issue weighs heavily on me, particularly as a university professor who wants everyone to feel welcome to the OR table. I certainly hope everyone feels welcome at this blog.
I don’t want this blog to be a blog just for women, but I wholeheartedly support other female bloggers in the sciences, operations research or otherwise: