“If women are dissuaded or excluded from even a handful of opportunities, she continued, the loss to science is enormous.”
As an undergraduate student in biology, I spent several weeks in Costa Rica one summer with an older graduate student on a research project deep in the cloud forest. It was just the two of us, and upon arriving at our site, I discovered that he had arranged a single room for us, one bed.
Mortified but afraid of being labeled prudish or difficult, I made no fuss. I took the lodge owner aside the next day and requested my own bed. The problem ended there, and my graduate student boss never made any physical advances.
Reflecting back, I’m struck by how ill equipped I was to deal with this kind of situation, especially at 19. My university undoubtedly had a harassment policy, but such resources were thousands of miles away. I was alone in a foreign country and had never received any training on my rights and resources in the field.
I’d forgotten about this experience from two decades ago until I read areport published July 16 in the journal PLOS One. Kathryn Clancy, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and three colleagues used email and social media to invite scientists to fill out an online questionnaire about their experiences with harassment and assault at field sites; they received 666 responses, three quarters of them from women, from 32 disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, biology and geology.
Almost two-thirds of the respondents said they had been sexually harassed in the field. More than 20 percent reported being sexually assaulted. Students or postdoctoral scholars, and women were most likely to report being victimized by superiors. Very few respondents said their field site had a code of conduct or sexual harassment policy, and of the 78 who had dared to report incidents, fewer than 20 percent were satisfied with the outcome.
The findings are depressingly similar to the data some colleagues and I collected this year from an online questionnaire sent to science writers.
The Latest on: Harassment in Science
via Google News
The Latest on: Harassment in Science
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Marene Allison wanted to make sure it was real.As she stood near the Cadet Chapel with her family, friends and members of her cadet company about a half hour before the Class of 1980’s graduation from ...
- CBRM zoning change allows market gardens in Louisbourg neighbourhoodon May 27, 2020 at 10:01 am
Cape Breton regional councillors have approved a zoning change that will allow limited agriculture in a residential neighbourhood in Louisbourg.Coun. Amanda McDougall, who represents the area on CBRM ...
- Just 15% women in committee on surrogacy isn’t an anomaly. The problem is our Parliamenton May 26, 2020 at 5:37 pm
The abysmal number of women in India’s parliamentary committees on surrogacy, sexual harassment and indecent representation is a symptom of a larger bias.
- Abortion Clinic Protests Are Still Happening in the Pandemic: ‘They Accost Patients Face to Face’on May 26, 2020 at 9:50 am
They don’t social distance. They block, stalk, push, shove, talk, scream. It’s business as usual out there for them.” ...
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