ADVANCE speaker comes to SIUE – Monday and Tuesday

Dr. Laurel Smith-Doerr, associate professor of sociology at Boston University, will be on the SIUE campus presenting two lectures on gender and science.

Smith-Doerr recently completed a two-year assignment at the National Science Foundation (NSF) as a program director focusing on two topics: Science, Technology and Society; and Ethics Education in Science and Engineering, according to Leah O’Brien, distinguished research professor of chemistry at SIUE.

The ADVANCE team at SIUE is sponsoring Smith-Doerr’s presentations at SIUE.

“Speakers like Smith-Doerr help raise issues for women in science and engineering. Our numbers are still small, and the likelihood for advancement and retention is less than those for men in these areas,” said O’Brien.

ADVANCE is a portion of the NSF’s strategy to broaden participation in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) community.

“ADVANCE encourages institutions of higher education and the broader  science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) community, including professional societies and other STEM related, not-for-profit organizations, to address various aspects of STEM academic culture and institutional structure that may differentially affect women faculty and academic administrators,” according to SIUE’s ADVANCE webpage.

Bringing high-caliber speakers like Smith-Doerr is integral to the ADVANCE team’s goals.

“A goal of our project is to build awareness of the issues that face women in science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines.  One of the ways we can build awareness is to invite scholars with expertise in this area to come share their work with the university community,” according to Denise Cobb, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice studies.

Recently, SIUE received an ADVANCE IT-Catalyst grant from the NSF, which is essential for advancing the goals of the team.

“Creating opportunities for empirically-informed and thoughtful discourse is critical to our team’s efforts to lay the groundwork for long-term institutional efforts to ensure equity on our campus,” stated Cobb.

Smith-Doerr has given numerous presentations on Organization Theory and Economic Sociology; Science, Technology, and Society; Gender Inequalities; and Social Networks, according to O’Brien.

“Smith-Doerr has found that administrative structure affects the success of women scientists. It is important to remove barriers that hinder the advancement of women scientists and engineers in higher education,” stated O’Brien.

The first lecture is Monday, Feb. 7 in the Science Building, room 0209 at 2:00 p.m. Smith-Doerr will present on “Gender Equity in Science: Lessons from the Life Sciences.”

The second lecture is Tuesday, Feb. 8 in Peck Hall, room 0306 at 12:30 p.m. Smith-Doerr will present on “The Intersection Production of Scientific Knowledge, Gender, and Ethical Issues.”

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