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Monday, December 12, 2005

EESC Resources for Women in Science/Engineering

Check out the Engineering Education Service Center website.  There you can find a collection of information on Women in Engineering Programs, searchable by state, and a resource page for women in engineering and science.  The resource page is a collection of websites such as 4000 Years of Women in Science, Doing Gender, Expanding Your Horizons, etc. 

That "Doing Gender" site in particular intrigues me.  I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy of Alison Phipps's dissertation.  I'm intrigued, but skeptical.  While I do think that the women-in-engineering/science "arena" (her term) could benefit from more attention to feminist theories of science and engineering, I'm just a bit wary of post-structuralist analysis.  Plus, I am annoyed by people who condemn women in engineering/science programs for focusing "just" on equal opportunities.  High-theory feminists always seem to be finding fault with those of us concerned about equity, access, and climate.  We're never being "transformative" enough.  As I've said before - one of my main agendas is to open up science and engineering to everyone.  I don't care if they are feminist or not.  I just want to see more women and men of color in these fields.  Transformation will follow on the heels of access, as it has in other fields such as history, English, political science, etc.  High-theory feminism seems to make this demand of women scientists and engineers that women in no other field are subjected to.  That is, we are supposed to be creating the revolution before we even get our foot in the door.  I just don't see it happening that way.  

One of the things I think is completely missing from high-theory feminism is an attention to the particular joys associated with doing science and engineering.  There is little accounting for passion in science and engineering, except to describe when it's gone wrong, as in analyses of male physicists and engineers involved in the defense industry, for example.  

So there you have it - my recipe for a complete feminist analysis of science and engineering:  attention to equity, access, and climate; attention to how scientists and engineers could or should tranform their fields of endeavor; and attention to the considerable joy that thinking and doing in a technical mode evokes.  I guess I'll have to write the book I want to read, someday.                 

6:04:03 PM    comment [] trackback []

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