Halpern to Discuss Women in Science At Congressional Briefing

Professor Diane Halpern, past president of the American Psychological Association and director of the Berger Institute for Work, Family, and Children, will participate in a Congressional briefing on Women in Science, on Monday, June 6 at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

The event is sponsored by the American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project, and by the Senate Science & Technology Caucus.

Despite significant strides made by women in high-status professions such as medicine, law and the arts, women continue to be underrepresented in science and engineering fields and hold fewer upper-level positions, organizers say. They also earn less, and face barriers and stereotypes at many levels.

The briefing will explore factors that influence women’s participation in the sciences, focusing on the contribution of both social factors and innate differences between the sexes, as well as the role of education and learning in shaping the experience of girls in science.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) will provide Monday’s introductory remarks. Other speakers expected to participate include Virginia Valian, professor of psychology and linguistics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), and Kimberlee Shauman, assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Davis.

Halpern, author of several books and hundreds of journal articles including: Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, and Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking (2003), was part of a spring panel discussion in New York, Women in Science: Are They Being Held Back?, sponsored by the EST/Sloan Project in partnership with the Women Investigators Network at the New York Academy of Sciences. That discussion investigated the physiological and psychological factors that influence intellectual performance that underlie similarities and differences between female and male cognition.