Good news: fewer women are leaving STEM fields in academia once they start. Bad news: Men still outnumber women 3:1.

— Melinda Gates (@melindagates) February 24, 2015
- Scientists prefer women over similarly qualified men 2:1 for faculty positions, according to a PNAS study published yesterday (April 13th, 2015). The results will likely fuel on-going debate about gender biases in academic science. - To move the debate forward, two hypotheses need to be considered. 1. Gender bias varies substantially in strength across academic contexts. The PNAS study seems to contradict earlier studies finding strong biases favoring male scientists. However, the results are not contradictory at all. Rather, they indicate how gender plays different roles across evaluative contexts. Understanding this contextual variability is key to closing gender gaps in science. 2. In some contexts, women may persist in science despite pro-male biases. Science mentoring appears to favor males, but female students may nevertheless persist in science at equal rates compared to males. This hypothesis comes from a recent study of mine that received extensive media attention, including from Nature. NEWS MEDIA CONTEXT - U. S. News’ coverage of the PNAS study included quotes from me. This proposed piece would extend those arguments by (a) incorporating empirical evidence and (b) placing the study in context of a broader 5+ year debate about gender biases in science. The data -Youtube video The debate -Williams and Ceci: natural data doesn't show evidence -Moss-Racusin: but those studies are correlational. What about experimental evidence? Well now there's evidence of both! So who's right: Williams/Ceci and Moss-Racusin et al.? They both are! Contextual variability Persisting in the face of bias? Good/bad news -video clip of Jon Stewart -Melinda Gates tweet