genSET aims to mainstream gender in science

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genSET aims to mainstream gender in science

by gender news on Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 3:08pm

genSETScience Leaders from across the EU have signed the genSET Consensus Report, containing recommendations to policy makers and leaders in science institutions. Funded by the Science in Society Programme of the European Commission's 7th Framework, genSET is a project to design practical guidelines for implementing gender action plans. By creating a forum of European science leaders, science stakeholder institutions, gender experts, and science strategy decision‐makers, genSET aims to increase women's participation in science. Londa SchiebinigerClayman Institute Director Londa Schiebinger participated as one of four gender experts  at the Consensus Seminars in Berlin and Paris. As a result of this work, the Science Leaders Panel has identified 13 specific recommendations in four priority areas. Science Knowledge Making ‐ covers actions that can improve the quality of research processes and methods and thus the quality of scientific knowledge. That is, the recommendations address designing methods of sex and gender analysis into basic and applied research. Human Capital ‐ covers actions that can improve the use of social and intellectual capital of individuals within scientific institutions. The recommendations aim to facilitate the capabilities and relations of those involved in the knowledge production process through improving the way they are organised, led, and publicized. Process and Practices – covers actions that improve already existent institutional processes and practices. Specifically, the recommendations in this section aim to recognise and improve the gender dimension in assessment methods, recruitment procedures, and policies related to working conditions most affecting women. Regulation and Compliance – covers actions that can improve accountability for mainstreaming gender at individual, institutional, science system levels. The recommendations address enabling monitoring, analysis and reporting of gender‐related outcomes. Schiebinger's Gendered Innovations Project served as a key resource for the work of Science Knowledge Making. A key example is Recommendation 1:

Leaders must be convinced that there is a need to incorporate methods of sex and gender analysis into basic and applied research; they must 'buy into' the importance of the gender‐dimension within knowledge making. The most effective way of doing this will be to illustrate how continually incorporating sex and gender analysis promotes research excellence. Such examples should be inventoried by European institutions (e.g. DG Research, ESF) and made available to institutional “change agents” (e.g. deans, provosts, opinion makers, department heads).

Gendered Innovations case studies provide concrete examples of ways gender methods lead to new discoveries in science. The remaining recommendations range from making efforts to balance gender on research teams and committees to requiring assessments of papers to consider the use and knowledge of methods for sex and gender analysis. Next on the agenda? The next Consensus Seminar will focus on feasible implementation of the recommendations. Schiebinger will be on hand as a gender expert, lending expertise to discussions shaping the future of scientific research in the EU.