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Space Telescope Science Institute
Hard Science/Soft Skills

Abigail Stewart

Addressing Unconscious Bias:
Steps Toward An Inclusive Scientific Culture

Dr. Abigail Stewart
John Bahcall Auditorium
2:00 p.m.
March 26, 2012

Dr. Stewart's talk will outline the nature of unconscious bias as it operates to exclude or marginalize some participants in the scientific community, and show how bias results from non-conscious expectations about certain groups of people, including scientists and astronomers.

Dr. Stewart will also outline scientific research in psychology, sociology and economics that has identified the impact these expectations have on interpersonal judgments that are at the heart of assessment of individuals' qualifications. Dr. Stewart will help us understand how bias operates within a single instance of evaluation, and how evaluation bias can accumulate over a career, behaviors that interrupt and mitigate unconscious bias.

Dr. Stewart will also share how institutions have identified strategic interventions at key points of institutional decision-making (particularly hiring, annual review, and promotion) that can make a difference. Lastly, she will provide insight on fostering an inclusive scientific culture.

Abigail J. Stewart is Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, where she is Director of the ADVANCE Program, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Her current research examines educated women's lives and personalities; women's movement activism both in the US and globally; and gender, science and technology among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty; and institutional change in the academy.