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Females are much more likely receive awards that aren’t named for an individual than those that are named for men, according to research



Females are much more likely receive awards that arent named for an individual than those that are named for men according to research

Study was presented on May 25, at the European Geoscience Union (EGU) general assembly in Vienna. The study looked at nearly 9000 recipients of around 350 awards in the field that include Earth sciences, environmental sciences, and cardiology, in addition to the awards given by national scientific organizations within the United Kingdom and the United States.

It has been discovered that women have received approximately 15 percent of these awards since the 18th century. In the case of the awards which have been named after men, female winners drop to only 12.2%. However, women won 24% of the time in the 93 awards that weren’t named after any person – a pattern that was constant over the years, says Stefan Krause, an Earth and environmental scientist at the University of Birmingham, UK, who presented his findings at the EGU conference.

The findings suggest that there may be a connection between the title of the award and the person awarded, he states. “If the prizes aren’t named for a particular person, the gender balance in them is more equal,” he adds.

The study also revealed that women won 32 percent of the 12 prizes named after women and men and 47 percent of the awards named for women. However, Krause warns that there aren’t many awards that are in these categories and that the awards are generally more recent; therefore, the data can’t be used to draw generalizations. The data also reveal that women are more likely to be the winners of more awards for services that are deemed to be beneficial in science, such as mentorship or encouraging diversity, as opposed to awards that focus on scientific research.

Krause and his colleague Katja Gehmlich, a research cardiologist working at the University of Birmingham, held a study mainly during the UK COVID-19 lockdowns between 2020-2021. They looked through public data in their respective fields and assigned genders to the winners, if feasible, using pronouns provided by the individual or by the awarding organization.

Krause states that the study results suggest that societies must examine the names of awards, considering the significance of such prizes in boosting a researcher’s visibility and in the decision-making process for tenure and promotions. A study in 2021 discovered that women’s part in significant research prizes is rising; however, they are still behind the percentage of academic positions.

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