Women, Minorities, and Interdisciplinarity: Transforming the Research Enterprise

Diana Rhoten and Stephanie Pfirman

Lab Research

In the U.S., amid fears of a shrinking scientific workforce and the dulling competitive edge it brings, universities, as well as federal and local programs, have pushed to expand interdisciplinary research. The reason? To attract to the fields of science, mathematics, and engineering the very people who have, historically, been discouraged from practicing them, namely women and minorities. Eradicating gender- and race-based inequalities in these fields is essential not only to realizing social equality—certainly a worthy goal in and of itself—but also to ensuring that scientific and technological advancements in the United States benefit from the knowledge and talents of this traditionally underrepresented segment of the workforce.

On Monday, November 12, Barnard College joins the Social Science Research Council and Columbia University in hosting a workshop on the transforming power of interdisciplinarity. Scientists, educators, historians, philosophers, sociologists of science, and policy makers consider how women and minorities might be drawn to interdisciplinary research, explore the learning styles and career behaviors that either help or hinder interdisciplinarity, and examine the implications of an interdisciplinary career.

Click here for additional information and registration.