Author Interviews, Education, Gender Differences / 15.02.2018 Interview with: David C. Geary, Ph.D. Curators' Distinguished Professor Thomas Jefferson Fellow Department of Psychological Sciences Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211-2500 What is the background for this study?   Response:   We were interested in international variation in the percentage of women who obtain college degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, focusing on degrees in inorganic areas, such as physics and computer science (topics that do not deal with living things).  There is no sex difference in the life sciences, but there is in these fields. The gap is about 3 to 1 in the U.S. and has been stable for decades. We wanted to link international variation in these degrees to student factors, including their best subject (e.g., science vs. reading) and their interests in science, as well as to more general factors such as whether the country provided strong economic opportunities and its rating on gender equality measures. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education / 24.05.2017 Interview with: Pallavi Amitava Banerjee, PhD, FRS Lecturer, Graduate School of Education St Luke's Campus University of Exeter What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several educational programs are being run to increase an awareness and understanding of STEM generally and more specifically to encourage young people to take up STEM learning trajectories. A longitudinal study was conducted where nearly 60,000 year 7 students were followed up through secondary school. Every year these students took part in several hands on activities, ambassador led events, school STEM trips throughout each academic year from the beginning of year 7 till they took GCSEs. Two main educational outcomes were considered – a) GCSE attainment in science and math and b) continued post-16 STEM participation (AS- and A-levels). (more…)
Author Interviews, Education / 17.12.2016 Interview with: Pallavi Amitava Banerjee, PhD Lecturer, Graduate School of Education University of Exeter, UK What is the background for this study? Response: Science technology engineering mathematics skills are highly valued in the UK as in most other developed countries of the world. Concerns were raised in the past by the Royal Society, Science Council and other learned societies and the UK Parliament about the insufficient number of young people wanting to take up these subjects beyond school. What then followed were a range of STEM enrichment and enhancement activities delivered at the local and national level. These activities were run to help young people appreciate science and math better to break the myth that these are only for the brainy. Students from secondary schools did hands-on practical activities, had STEM ambassador visits and several other events organized. (more…)