The fallacy of fairness: Rethinking the meritocracy of science

Jo Handelsman
May 1, 2014

Most scientists take pride in the system of rigorous peer review that maintains high standards for the scientific enterprise. We like to believe that we publish and fund the best work and hire the best people. But is there evidence to support this view? In fact, experimental evidence shows that we unintentionally apply deep cultural biases that distort identification of "the best."  If we were able to overcome these biases, would science be stronger?  In this talk, I will provide an overview of the history of gender bias research, present experimental evidence, and discuss interventions that might reduce implicit or explicit bias.