Feminism - Feminism and Science

Feminism and Science

For more details on this topic, see Feminist epistemology.

Sandra Harding says that the "moral and political insights of the women's movement have inspired social scientists and biologists to raise critical questions about the ways traditional researchers have explained gender, sex and relations within and between the social and natural worlds." Some feminists, such as Ruth Hubbard and Evelyn Fox Keller, criticize traditional scientific discourse as being historically biased towards a male perspective. A part of the feminist research agenda is the examination of the ways in which power inequities are created and/or reinforced in scientific and academic institutions. Physicist Lisa Randall, appointed to a task force at Harvard by then-president Lawrence Summers after his controversial discussion of why women may be underrepresented in science and engineering, said, "I just want to see a whole bunch more women enter the field so these issues don't have to come up anymore."

Lynn Hankinson Nelson notes that feminist empiricists argue that there are fundamental differences between the experiences of men and women, thus they seek to obtain knowledge through the examination of the experiences of women, and attempt to "uncover the consequences of omitting, misdescribing, or devaluing them" for account of human experience. Other feminist scientists eschew objectivity in favor of self-reflexivity and the agenda of helping women. Also, part of the feminist research agenda is the uncovering of ways in which power inequities are created and/or reinforced in society and in scientific and academic institutions.

One criticism of feminist epistemology is that it allows social and political values to influence its findings. Susan Haack also points out that feminist epistemology reinforces traditional stereotypes about women's thinking (as intuitive and emotional, etc.), Meera Nanda further cautions that this may in fact trap women within "traditional gender roles and help justify patriarchy".

Read more about this topic:  Feminism

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Famous quotes containing the words science and/or feminism:

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