Lecture: STEMing the Tide

Posted on 2019-10-10

STEMing the Tide Lecture

There’s a notable lecture occurring tomorrow (Friday 11th October). Unfortunately is does fall at the same time as the physics colloquium, but in the interest of choice and keeping you all informed:

STEMing the Tide: How female scientists and peers act as ‘social vaccines’ to protect girls’ and women’s self-concept in STEM

by Nilanjana Dasgupta from the University of Massachusetts
Friday 11th October 3:30pm in 522 McMed.


Individuals’ choice to pursue one academic or professional path over another may feel like a free choice but it is often constrained by subtle cues in achievement environments that signal who naturally belong there and who don’t. What factors release these constraints and enhance individuals’ freedom to pursue academic and professional paths despite stereotypes to the contrary? I will present a decade-long program of research addressing this question in the context of young women and girls’ confidence, persistence, and career aspirations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in the face of societal stereotypes casting doubt on their ability. Our data identify people and environments that function as ‘social vaccines’ in high achievement learning environments by inoculating women and girls against negative stereotypes. Using these data, I will propose some research-driven remedies and interventions that promise to enhance the recruitment and retention of diverse groups in STEM classes, majors, and professions.

Dr. Dasgupta is an expert in bias and discrimination, particularly in regards to the STEM context. She was recently tasked with leading a Massachusetts-wide network to increase diversity in the STEM workforce.

Webpage for the talk: Click here