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The Changing  Scientific Landscape:  Men, Women, Family and the Science Career

Gender diversity in the academic sciences is an important part of maintaining national competitiveness.  Yet, despite graduating substantial proportions of female science undergraduates, science-and especially academic science- does not retain women at the same rate as men (National Academy of Sciences 2006). For two years I have examined women's and men's self-reported reasons for pursuing careers in biology and physics, science disciplines with a very different proportion of women. The data collection for this study included a survey of 3,500 biologists and physicists at top-ranking graduate programs at all ranks (graduate student through full professor) and 50  in-depth interviews. Initial results show that distinct gender differences in the undergraduate experience exist for elite scientists and provide nuance to the "pipeline" model of persistence that is an assumption of much of the previous research on gender stratification in science. I am requesting a SSRl Research Professorship to support a one­ semester leave from teaching in order to complete five research articles as well as to develop a book proposal for, Science, Its Not What It Used to Be: Family, Gender, and the Science Career.