Is there a sexist data crisis? Hardly a crisis, but still important to resolve

In our session on Tuesday Simon K, as an aside, suggested we google “is there a sexist data crisis. “

I did, (here is a BBC article with that exact title http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36314061) but it got me thinking, this is hardly a crisis and hardly new. Women are underrepresented in many important things.

For example, did you know women (and other “minority groups” like non Caucasians) are underrepresented in clinical trials? The article does mention this too. The FDA in the US has a program to try to increase the participation of women in these trials: http://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/SpecialTopics/WomensHealthResearch/ucm131731.htm

Systematic bias? Deliberate? Could be both.

Anyway, I will be sure to think more about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks Tracy, it’s an interesting area, and there are various factors involved (including decisions about how to count particular things). On the ‘open knowledge’ theme, representation on Wikipedia is another interest area (with e.g. replication of historic bias and under-representation) various interesting things around this inc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countering_systemic_bias#Selection_based_on_gender_bias

    Simon

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    1. Thanks Simon! I’d read an opinion that Wikipedia editors were a bunch of bullies in a school yard a few years ago, but had forgotten about this fascinating topic!

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