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August 31, 2005

Toys for the boys?

A mesmerising shopping list of new ‘research infrastructures’ has been sent to the the European Commission by a committee of top scientists. These new toys – sorry, ‘tools’ – range from an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) for optical astronomy, to a research icebreaker called Aurora Borealis, and a facility for antiproton and ion research called FAIR. The price tags are fair, too: they range from ‘less than 100 million’ euros, to one billion-plus. Its authors describe the list as ‘well-balanced’ even though just two of its 23 projects concern human beings. Can this have anything to do with the gender profile of European science? Women represent 27 percent of the scientific workforce in EU countries, but the proportion of women in senior research positions is extremely small. In Austria, for example, only 4 percent of full professors are female, compared to a (still not brilliant) 14 percent in the United States.

Posted by John Thackara at August 31, 2005 10:14 AM

Comments

Or maybe it has something to do with the recent discovery that men actually seem to have a higher IQ...

Posted by: Insider at August 31, 2005 05:05 PM

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