Why are there so few women and minorities in science?

While on a panel, Neil deGrasse Tyson gives an excellent answer to the question of whether there are any genetic reasons as to why there are so few women in science. (Thanks to reader John for the link.) The five minutes or so clip begins at the 1:01:30 mark.


  1. ibbica says

    No-one’s perfect, and I’ve certainly taken issue with some of his comments about biology as a field. But his comments here made my day, so he’s solidly back in my good books 😀

    Whoever that guy was who chose to ask that question in that particular manner, OTOH…

    (Oh, and for those wondering, the question “…chicks in science?” is asked at 1:01:30.)

  2. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    It’s kind of almost comical that a smug, old white-haired guy goes “what’s up with chicks in science,” and walks away snickering to himself like a middle school kid and anyone still wonders why there aren’t more women in science. Tyson’s answer was brilliant: as soon as the culture at large stops actively standing in the way of opportunity for anyone who isn’t a white dude, then we can talk about genetic differences that might account for any remaining lack of parity in particular fields.

  3. colnago80 says

    There’s another dirty little secret that’s involved in why so few women are involved in science, particularly the hard sciences like physics and chemistry. That’s sexual harassment by instructors, teaching assistants, and some of their male classmates. I once read about motion picture actress Jill StJohn who apparently started out as a freshman at UCLA to study marine biology. She was continually hit on by teaching assistants fellow classmates, and even faculty that she finally quit. It appears that faculty and teaching assistants in the sciences, at least at that time, were the worst offenders in this regard.

  4. Trickster Goddess says

    What a stupid ignorant asshole moderator. “What’s up with chicks in science?” and he immediately makes the assumption that “chicks” are genetically disinclined towards science.

  5. ibbica says

    “There’s another dirty little secret that’s involved in why so few women are involved in science…”

    Dirty? Sure. Secret? Only to some of those in possession of a Y chromosome.
    To those without, that’s hardly a “secret” :/

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