David K Smith Profile picture
Oct 2, 2018 12 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The inevitable backlash about Strumia's pro-male Physics lecture has begun, with a few mostly privileged males insisting he spoke 'the truth' and demanding women disprove his claims. Well those women are too busy doing great science so this thread aims to help. #womeninSTEM
1. Claiming 'the history of physics is male' is meaningless and proves nothing. For much of the history of physics most universities refused to educate women. What chance dud they have??
2. Presenting data on the woman who beat you to a job (sample size, N=1) as evidence of discrimination against men is nonsense as science. Further, the only metric used is how many times she (and he) was cited - in no way a good measure of the talent/ideas of a young researcher.
3. Listing male physicists who died in wars as evidence of societal discrimination against men is nonsense. What about the great female thinkers who were denied an education, married off to spend their lives bearing children, and prevented from working.
4. Now to the data: This paper demonstrates that if the identical CV for a technical science job goes out with male or female gender, the male applicants were rated more highly. pnas.org/content/109/41…
5. The paper below provides the biggest ever analysis of the performance of male and female students, and finds, contrary to the older data shown by Strumia, that the supposed gender differences between high-performing STEM students are not there. nature.com/articles/s4146…
6. If you are interested in whether there are innate gender differences between male and female brains, then you must read neuropyschologust Lise Eliot, who refutes the dominance of biology concluding socialization is vital.
7. It's hard to do controlled experiments on gender. But Ben Barron, who transitioned from female to male was in no doubt his career was easier as male - his research gaining much more recognition. His seminal paper on gender discrimination is here nature.com/articles/44213…
8. As for the argument men in STEM are the ones facing discrimination - it just doesn't match experiences. In a major workplace survey women were far more likely to experience discrimination. The survey also showed the more 'male' the field, the worse. pewsocialtrends.org/2018/01/09/wom….
9. Fascinatingly, evidence also shows that the way you interpret gender studies depends on your own gender. Men are more likely to ignore research that provides evidence of discrimination against women. Just as Strumia ignored all of the above evidence.
I could go on - there is so much good evidence that can be presented to refute or counter Strumia's claims. But I think those tweets cover some of his main points.
My final point is - listen to women - their voices and experiences matter. Dismissing heir experiences as anecdote, and erasing their voices, is just not good enough. Evidence is out there, now hear the individual women and take action.

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