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Open Access "Why" vs. "What," or "The Bad Penny Opera": Gender and Bias in Science

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The research of today has been shaped by how young scientists were viewed and received when starting out decades earlier. The author reflects on her personal experiences as a woman pursuing a science career and looks at contemporary contributions to innovation and science by men and women. Although women have been routinely asked "why" they wanted to enter a scientific field while men have been asked "what" field they wanted to enter, the author asserts that an objective look is revealing. An analysis of the data available on the National Academy of Inventors website demonstrates: 1) equal creativity as shown by categories of patents held by both men and women and 2) the effect of the early, and possibly continuing, bias during the careers of women in that men hold more patents than women.

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Keywords: GENDER; INVENTION; NATIONAL ACADEMY OF INVENTORS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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