Women and Awards

Nadia Halim1 performs a valuable service in highlighting the low frequency of awards to women scientists. I am saddened, however, by her article's emphasis on women nominating women as a path to correcting this imbalance. If nominations of women for membership of the National Academy of Sciences are to come largely from the 6 percent of the NAS who are women, progress will be slow indeed. I would prefer to see my male colleagues addressing the problem from other directions. In an era when academ

Raymond O'connor
Jan 9, 2000

Nadia Halim1 performs a valuable service in highlighting the low frequency of awards to women scientists. I am saddened, however, by her article's emphasis on women nominating women as a path to correcting this imbalance. If nominations of women for membership of the National Academy of Sciences are to come largely from the 6 percent of the NAS who are women, progress will be slow indeed. I would prefer to see my male colleagues addressing the problem from other directions. In an era when academic search committees routinely require that women be adequately represented in the candidate pool and eventual short lists, it is not unreasonable to ask that award panels adopt the same standard of equity. Even better would be the further step of each panel assigning a member to be a promoter for each woman candidate. A promoter cannot turn a poor candidate into a good one,...

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