To questionable science: Promoting scientific calls with pseudoscience makes mistakes

February 11 marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. to analyze Intersections between gender and scientific activity Several factors must be taken into consideration. on one hand, stereotypesboth on the female level and on the scientific level, distances women from science when they distance themselves from the possibility of considering themselves intelligent.

On the other hand, Data for horizontal and vertical separation In the scientific-technological system, as in all productive activities, there are fewer women in senior positions and stereotypes prevail in the choice of specialization – for example, women make up the majority in the social sciences and men in engineering -.

In turn, the (No) Evidence of innate properties In the genders, which makes men more efficient to do scientific work, it also influences the construction of a popular perception around the connection between the feminine and science.

Thinking about the issue in an integrated way, shows us that to build an egalitarian horizon it is not enough to have women in regions and positions and claim that they are 50%.

The fact that we can say that the position of women in science is precarious is not always associated with a lack of representation.

According to the US National Institute of Medicine, women make up the majority on research teams on health issues, and even during a pandemic, medical papers on COVID-19 With early authors it was 19% Fewer medical papers published in the same journals during 2019. The women scientists, like all of them, They saw that their care burden increased with incarceration And they had less time to devote to their careers.

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It is scientists who, to a large extent, define, describe and characterize the phenomenon of inequality. In any case, the invention of a non-sexist scientist far exceeds the capabilities of science.

The issue of flags is as private as theirs, but as common as the issue of gender discrimination in general: the brunt of care assignments, stereotypes, discrimination, harassment, lack of licenses, and job insecurity constitute a set of structural problems that they do. The construction of gender inequalities that we have been able to show, but have not yet been able to reverse and this also recurs in the scientific-technological system.

Confidence is always good, but sometimes it kills and poisons the soul

Pseudoscience is usually associated with magic, mysticism, or esotericism. However, within the sciences, making claims without the necessary evidence or repeating knowledge that has already been disproved is also another way to practice pseudoscience.

In many cases, pseudoscience uses scientific language to give itself an aura of credibility. It is frequent to hear about toxins and food detoxification regimens. However, it has never been or almost never been clarified what these toxins are, and whether there is any empirical evidence to prove the concentration of said substances before and after a particular diet. This scientific pseudoscience is hard to spot. In general, pseudoscience is thought to be a problem that persists outside of science, something that evolves in spite of it and uses its language to make us believe it is on the inside, but scientists don’t reproduce. A recurring problem with the practice of science is that there is always an exception that does not confirm the rule.

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Don’t take what you take for granted

On February 5, 2013, the English newspaper guardian Publish an article entitled Girls and Science: Why the gender gap is real and what we can do about it.

Three days later, on February 8, the same newspaper published another note, this time under the headline “Pseudoscience and stereotypes will not solve the problem of gender inequality in science”written by Chris Chambers and Kate Clancy, which debunked many of the claims in the evidence.

Among some of the statements, the guide stated that “girls in general begin to process information in the left hemisphere of the brain, the hemisphere that corresponds to language, and thus, verbally process mathematical concepts.” Then the idea was that not only should the exercises be displayed on the board or screen, but that they should be guided through it with words. This statement is dishonest and highly controversial.

In another section, it was confirmed that girls respond better than boys to color stimuli, so I recommend that games related to geometric abilities, such as colored blocks that form patterns or shapes, be brightly colored, or buy books with activities to color in. By numbers.

Chalmers and Clancy’s observation raises some interesting counterpoints, including that there is nothing to show that even when gender differences in behaviors and brain function can be observed, this does not indicate that these differences are useful for creating personalized learning situations.

Coming back to the starting point, science is taught in a sexist world, and for girls who want to be scientists, working in science should be comfortable and motivating for them. If not, we insist that fathers urge their daughters to become scientists without providing the institutional support necessary for that profession to be an exercise of desire.

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If there are no girls who want to be scientists, it is not because their parents do wrong things. By failing to create equal conditions for all, we fail to make all the girls who might want to be scientists actually become scientists.

The problem is big and simultaneous, starting with something ends with everything. But at least here and now we can stop trying to solve systemic problems with ill-thought-out and misleading checklists.

TheNote that it is part of the alliance between Time and Ecofiniteallied organization It works to highlight gender inequality by developing clear, high-quality content.

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