Tuesday 17 March 2015

Articles of interest 17/03/15

Canada’s Perimeter institute recently had a feature on the ‘Pioneering women of Physics’ - including a former AIP Women in Physics Lecturer Jocelyn Bell Burnell. A great list, with some ‘usual’ and non usual suspects. In particular I loved the inclusion of Ursula Franklin who spoke at the International Women in Physics conference in Waterloo in 2014. What do you think of the list, who’s been missed out? Perhaps we should look to developing one with an Australian slant?

On a sadder note is The Conversation article on the fact that teachers will marks boys in maths more favorably than girls. It explains the results of a long-term study that it is thought reflects the societal expectation that ‘girls can’t do maths’. The article itself has prompted some debate in the comments. This issue has been hot in the press of late, with the Guardian running a story on the fact that girls ‘lack self-confidence’ in maths. This was prompted by research from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which again pinned the blame on expectations of parents and teachers. It’s a nebulous problem, but what approaches should we (as a society who don’t lack confidence in maths) look to take?

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