Angier, Natalie. "Academy's Choices Don't Reflect The Number of Women in Science," New

 

Angier, Natalie. "Academy's Choices Don't Reflect The Number of Women in Science," New
York Times, 10 May 1992, p. 24.

Fiftynine new members of the National Academy have been announced but only 5 of them are
women. That is the same number of women who were chosen last year when the Academy was
roundly criticized for its sexual preferences. Although the number of women in science has
increased dramatically since the 1960s, the number of women in the Academy has not increased
for the past 20 years. Some argue that women simply do not meet the rigid standards sof the
Academy but there are those who argue that there are barriers that keep women out of the upper
ranks.

Although there has been publicity on the special problems of women in science, that awareness
has not produced change in the Academy. Others argue that membership in the Academy reflects
age and there are not that many women of advanced age in science.

"The reasons for women's relatively slow advancement in science have been attributed to any
number of reasons, from trhe standard notion that women lose ground while they are raising
children, to subtler explanations such as the extreme insularity of science and the distaste some
women have for the raw confrontational style scientists are expected to adopt in dissection one
another's work.

"Dr. Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrateion
and a new academy member, said that while she had never felt any discrimination as a female
scientist, she had noticed stylistic differences between her male and female students that could
partly explain the disparity in who gets ahead the most quickly.

"For example, she said, in arguments over scientific points, female scientists and students try to
see the other person's point of view. ‘But to some men that's a sign of weakness,' she said.