March 12, 07

Vol. 22 , No. 06   


View Entire Issue (Vol. 22 , No. 06)


Why Don't We Have More Women in Science? Was Larry Summers Right?
DIANE HALPERN
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2007

In a speech at the NBER Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce in 2005, then President of Harvard University, Larry Summers, suggested that the inequality between men and women in science and mathematics might be linked to biological differences between the sexes. In her lecture, Professor Diane Halpern will address Summersí comments and the controversial issue of why there appears to be a deficit of women in science, engineering, and mathematics fields.
Halpern is currently chair of a committee formed on behalf of the Department of Educationís Institute of Education Sciences that has been asked to draft a best-practices guide. This report will outline current problems facing girls and women in science and mathematics education and careers in fields commonly known as STEM ó science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - as well as offer solutions that address those challenges based on research evidence.

Halpernís research and publications include studies in gender differences in cognitive abilities. In December 2005, she discussed biopsychosocial contributions to cognitive performance during a public convocation in Washington, D.C., that was hosted by the National Academies of Science Committee on Women in Academic Science and Engineering to explore the impact of sex and gender on recruiting, hiring, promotion, and retention of academic science and engineering faculty.
Professor Halpern is a professor of psychology at CMC, director of The Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, and past president of the American Psychological Association. Halpern received her bachelorís degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned post-graduate degrees from Temple University and the University of Cincinnati. Along with Susan Murphy, associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Kravis Leadership Institute, she edited From Work-Family Balance to Work-Family Interaction: Changing the Metaphor, in 2005. Halpernís other books include Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking (1995), Applying the Science of Learning to the University and Beyond: New Directions for Teaching and Learning (2003), and Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (1986). Her numerous honors include the Western Psychological Associationís Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002; an honorary doctorate from Mount St. Maryís College in 2004, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, University of Cincinnati.