Sophomore Seminars

Gendered Innovations in Science, Medicine, Engineering, and Environment

Completion of PWR 1 or other WR 1 course.

Why are there so few women in some fields of science, medicine, and engineering? Would science be different if more women were involved? This course analyzes current debates about gender in technical fields. We also explore "Gendered Innovations," which examines how sex and gender analysis can enhance science and technology. We will look at concrete examples of how taking gender into account has yielded important new research results in medicine, biology, engineering, and archaeology. Questions remain concerning whether gender analysis has anything to offer physics, mathematics, computer science, or chemistry. Finally, we examine the many efforts underway nationally and internationally to transform science, medicine, and engineering into fields where both women and men can flourish. For a video of Professor Schiebinger discussing this topic, go to: Classes consist of lively discussions of selected readings plus sessions with distinguished visitors.

This course fulfills the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (WRITE 2) and emphasizes oral and multimedia presentation. 

Meet the Instructor(s)

Londa Schiebinger

Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science, and the director of the EU/US Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, and Engineering Project. She is a leading international expert on gender in science, and works on this topic with both the United Nations and the European Union. Her books include: The Mind Has No Sex? Women in the Origins of Modern ScienceNature's Body: Gender in the Making of Modern Science; Has Feminism Changed Science?; and Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering. For more information, visit Professor Schiebinger's website at: