stock attacks and opposing the wolf return,
without addressing the ultimate market-based causes of sheep farming decline. In
2012, wolf-linked subsidies to sheep farming amounted to 8.8 € million (3), and data
now reveal that sheep farming fares better in
wolf regions (4).
There are strong political incentives to
scapegoat large carnivores. We recommend
developing a better understanding of the
political ecology of large carnivore conservation.
GUILLAUME CHAPRON1 AND
JOSÉ VICENTE LÓPEZ-BAO1,2
1Grimsö Wildlife Research Station, Swedish University of
Agricultural Sciences, SE-73091 Riddarhyttan, Sweden.
2Research Unit of Biodiversity (UO/CSIC/PA), Oviedo
University, Mieres, 33600, Spain.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: gchapron@
1. S. Sayare, “As wolves return to French Alps, a way of life is
threatened,” New York Times, 4 September 2013, p. A4.
2. C. Harding, Singapore Yearbook Int. Law 10, 99 (2006);
3. Ministère de l’Écologie de Développement Durable et de
l’Énergie, Ministère de l’Agriculture de l’Agroalimentaire
et de la Forêt, “Plan d’Action National Loup 2013–2017”
(Paris, 2013); www.loup.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/
4. L. Garde, in Loup et Élevage: S’Ouvrir à la Complexité:
CERPAM—Centre d’Etudes et de Réalisations Pastorales
Alpes Méditerranée, L. Garde, Ed. (CERPAM, Manosque,
France, 2007), pp. 14–20.
Obscuring Gender Bias
B. L. BENDERLY’S SCIENCE CAREERS ARTICLE
“What is keeping women out of leadership
jobs in academic medicine?”(7 January,
http://scim.ag/1hmBHVl) about a recent
report (1) misrepresents the study’s findings
and perpetuates gender biases by framing
women’s second-place standing in academic
medicine as the result of personal choices
rather than institutional barriers.
Benderly writes, “Women on medical
faculties…may prefer teaching and treating
patients to publishing research papers.” Yet
the report’s authors clearly caution that their
methods cannot detect whether personal
preferences or professional obstacles drive
women to the “clinician-educator track”
instead of the “traditional tenure track.”
Benderly offers a similar caveat, but never-
theless concludes by asking whether wom-
en’s service motivations explain their down-
shift to the clinician-educator track.
Social psychological research repeatedly
demonstrates that institutionalized gender
bias hinders women’s progress in academic
science (including medicine). In a recent
experiment, for example, men and women
science faculty evaluated a job application
from a woman less favorably than the identical application from a man (2).
Studies also reveal how attributing work-place inequities to women’s preferences distracts observers from unfair institutional
practices. One recent article, for instance,
showed that professional women who
viewed their move to stay-at-home motherhood as a personal choice, as compared to
new full-time moms who did not view their
move as a choice, less often cited discrimination, harassment, and family-unfriendly
policies as sources of gender inequality (3).
In this same article, undergraduates who
incidentally saw a book titled Choosing to
Leave: Women’s Experiences Away from the
Workforce more firmly believed that gender discrimination is not a problem than did
undergraduates who saw Women at Home:
Experiences Away from the Workforce. Other
studies similarly demonstrate that framing
unequal outcomes as the result of individual choices, rather than of institutional or
societal forces, deadens empathy and delays
action (4, 5).
To help end gender inequities, all publi-
cations must take greater care when report-
ing about women in science.
ALANA L. CONNER,1 KAREN S. COOK,2,3,4
SHELLEY J. CORRELL,2,5 HAZEL ROSE MARKUS,1,6
CORINNE A. MOSS-RACUSIN,7 CAROL B. MULLER,8
JENNIFER L. RAYMOND,9,10 CAROLINE SIMARD10
1Center for Social Psychological Answers to Real-World
Questions (SPARQ), Stanford University, Stanford,
CA 94305, USA. 2Department of Sociology, Stanford
University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. 3Institute for Research
in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
4Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and
Diversity, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Research on Gender,
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. 6Department
of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305,
USA. 7Department of Psychology, Skidmore College,
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, USA. 8Stanford WISE Ventures,
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and
Diversity and Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate
Education, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
9Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University School
of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. 10Office of Diversity
and Leadership, Stanford University School of Medicine,
Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
*Corresponding author. E-mail: email@example.com
1. A. P. Mayer et al., Acad. Med. 89, 312 (2014).
2. C. A. Moss-Racusin, J. F. Dovidio, V. L. Brescoll,
M. J. Graham, J. Handelsman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.
U.S.A. 109, 16474 (2012).
3. N. M. Stephens, C. S. Levine, Psych. Sci. 22, 1231
4. K. Savani, N. M. Stephens, H. R. Markus, Psych. Sci. 22,
5. N. M. Stephens, M. G. Hamedani, H. R. Markus, H. B.
Bergsieker, L. Eloul, Psych. Sci. 20, 878 (2009).
I BELIEVE THAT CONNER ET AL. MISREPRESENT
my article and misconstrue my intentions
in writing it. Along with them and Science
Careers, I strongly deplore and oppose bias
and discrimination of any kind in science.
My colleagues and I work assiduously to
help female (and male) scientists and aspiring scientists advance in the careers of their
In line with that goal, I report on research
that helps scientists of both genders understand the career opportunities that currently
exist so that they can make choices that maximize their chances of finding and prospering
in positions that fit their values, goals, aspirations, and definitions of success. Research
(1) reveals that scientists value and aspire to
a wide range of career goals, with some of
both genders desiring traditional academic
careers leading to top institutional leadership
positions and others desiring to pursue different career objectives both in and out of academe. Evidence both formal (2) and anecdotal
also shows that many young scientists report
feeling strong pressure from their professors
and advisers to pursue traditional academic
careers in preference to other types of work
that they may prefer. The letter writers’ use of
the term “downshift” to describe a physician’s
choice to pursue a career of teaching and clinical practice rather than of academic research
may in itself exemplify this type of bias.
Contrary to the Letter, I did not conclude—in the sense of arriving at a judgment—that “women’s service motivations”
keep them from traditional tenure-track
careers. As Conner et al. acknowledge, I,
like the study’s (3) authors, do not know why
women chose as they did. I suggested a possible explanation also mentioned by the authors
and ended the article with the authors’ own
statement that the question “deserves further
analysis.” I do not believe that this misrepresents their work.
BERYL LIEFF BENDERLY
Science Careers Columnist
1. M. Roach, H. Sauermann, Res. Pol. 39, 422 (2010).
2. H. Sauermann, M. Roach, PLOS ONE 7, e36307 (2012).
3. A. P. Mayer et al., Acad. Med. 89, 312 (2014).
Letters to the Editor
Letters (~300 words) discuss material published in
Science in the past 3 months or matters of general interest. Letters are not acknowledged upon
receipt. Whether published in full or in part, Letters are subject to editing for clarity and space.
Letters submitted, published, or posted elsewhere,
in print or online, will be disqualified. To submit a
Letter, go to www.submit2science.org.