What are the three most important things the EU Commission can do to further research on gender and science?
What are the three most important things the EU Commission can do to further research on gender and science? This was discussed at an energetic open session at the FESTA-GARCIA conference in Brussels involving Professor Ana Arana Antelo from the European Commission and Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer Director of Portia and creator of the Gender Summit and FESTA-GARCIA Conference participants.
The priorities included
- ensuring national co-operation with EU gender initiatives by linking it to funding
- extending the remit of science to social sciences and humanities ('wissenschaft')
- funding 'blue sky' research on gender as well as work directed at institutional transformation
- embedding an understanding of gender among researchers and their topics (and ending the assumption that science is gender neutral)
- building gender into all research evaluation processes
- ensuring sustainability by funding follow on projects
- encouraging genuinely transdisciplinary research as well as research problematising the social construction of femininities and masculinities.
It was recognised that there had been a considerable improvement in the EUs attention to gender. However given that a focus on gender is a fundamental value in the European Community, and given the importance of leadership by the Commission in the research area, there was a strong feeling that more could and should be done.
In the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the next US President, that work seems increasingly urgent.