National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt will visit campus for a presentation on “The Climate for Women in STEM: Past, Present, and Future.”
The free event will be held on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Mondavi Center, Jackson Hall. The lecture will cover insights from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s report entitled “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences.”
A panel discussion with McNutt and UC Davis faculty will follow her presentation.
“What is important about this new study from the National Academies is that it provides the evidence that a spectrum of forms of gender harassment, many subtle, contribute to the attrition of women in the scientific workforce,” said McNutt, a geophysicist. “The report also discusses how organizations can change their culture to be intolerant of gender harassment as well as other forms of sexual harassment.”
Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2005, McNutt was editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals from 2013 to 2016 and served as the director of the U.S. Geological Survey from 2009 to 2013. She earned a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a B.A. in Physics from Colorado College.
McNutt’s academic career started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she served as the E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and directed the Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering. She was also president and chief executive officer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and is a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“I entered the field of science as a graduate student back in the 1970s when women were still a rarity at all levels in all fields,” said McNutt. “In the following decades, I witnessed the numbers of women studying science at the graduate level increase greatly, such that in many fields women attained parity with men.”
“And yet in the upper ranks across all sectors and in leadership levels, women remained seriously under-represented,” she added. “My female friends, colleagues, and students questioned whether they were good enough, whether they belonged, and whether they even wanted a professional life in science badly enough to ‘pay the price.’”
According to the report, 58 percent of women faculty and staff in academia have experienced sexual harassment.
“I have chosen this topic in the wake of the recent NAS report on sexual harassment and in recognition of the Me Too movement,” said College of Biological Sciences Dean Mark Winey. “The event is also a recognition of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking report of the status of women faculty at MIT championed by Nancy Hopkins.”
Hopkins and other female faculty members conducted a pivotal study about gender bias at MIT in the 1990s. At the time, they found that MIT’s School of Science had 197 tenured men and only 15 tenured women. Additionally, women often had less laboratory space and were paid less than male peers.
This inaugural event for the College of Biological Sciences Dean’s Distinguished Lecture series is sponsored by the college’s Dean’s Circle. To RSVP for the event, visit bit.ly/CBS-DDL2019.
Lead: Maureen Stanton, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Evolution and Ecology
- Phil Kass, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Professor, Population Health & Reproduction
- Linda Katehi, Chancellor Emerita, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Wendi Delmendo, Chief Compliance Officer, UC Davis
- Linda Bisson, UC Davis ADVANCE Faculty Director, Professor Emeritus, Viticulture and Enology
- Shelley Meeusen, Executive Director, General Medical Biology, Genomics Institute of Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), UC Davis 2003 PhD in Biochem and Molecular Biology