FYS-172 Why Suzy Won't Take Science and Dan Won't Play with Dolls: The Role of Gender in Science

Instructor: Chairperson/Sahm Professor of Physics Sharon L. Stephenson
Department: Physics

Course Description:
Statistics show that some areas of science are unattractive to women (and equally unattractive to African Americans and Hispanics). The controversy over this lack of diversity has affected every level of the academy, from kindergarten teachers to Harvard’s president. Why are some areas of science diverse and others simply are not? And why should we care? This course is connected with the Center for Public Service, and therefore has designated Service-Learning opportunities. In particular, course participants will mentor fifth graders in an after-school robotics program. In this writing-intensive course, we will identify our personal gender schemas, which will help us connect our future trajectories as scholars to our past roles in the classroom and the home. We will become familiar with the current research on diversity in the sciences, research that spans a tremendous range of disciplines in order to make us informed participants in the debate on not only who is doing science, but perhaps who should be and could be doing science.