Problems facing women of color in the sciences are the focus of a speech by Harvard professor Evelynn Hammonds, who is giving a lecture Oct. 29.
ADVANCE is a five-year National Science Foundation-funded project to improve recruitment and retention of women faculty in science and engineering and to improve the institutional climate. The University is midway through the five-year project.
Abigail Stewart, professor of women's studies and psychology in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, is the principal investigator on the project. The deans of LSA, the Medical School and the College of Engineering are co-principal investigators.
Earlier this year, ADVANCE released a study entitled "Assessing the Academic Work Environment for Faculty of Color in Science and Engineering," which indicates that U-M faculty of color in science and engineering are less satisfied with their departmental climate than white counterparts. The report also finds that female scientists and engineers of color face even more discrimination departmentally than male scientists and engineers or female social scientists of color.
According to the report, faculty of color reported a more negative climate than white colleagues, reported less satisfaction with resource allocation, experienced a higher level of racial and religious stereotyping and tokenism, and felt more surveillance than white faculty. In addition, women reported higher levels of gender discrimination than did men.
Hammonds' talk, "The Marginalization of Experience: Women of Color in Science," will touch on some of the issues in the ADVANCE report. Hammonds' work focuses on the intersection of scientific, medical and socio-political concepts of race in the United States.
She is completing a history of biological, medical, and anthropological uses of racial concepts entitled "The Logic of Difference: A History of Race in Science and Medicine in the United States, 1850-1990." She recently was named a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer (2003-05) by Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Hammonds is the author of "Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930."
Hammonds is a professor of the history of science and of African and African American studies. The speech is at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Michigan Room of the Michigan League. It is free and open to the public.