Day: October 3, 2019

Investigating the “STEM gender-equality paradox” – in fairer societies, fewer women enter science

Research Digest

Screenshot 2018-03-14 08.41.46.png The percentage of women with STEM degrees is lower in more gender-equal countries, as measured by the WEF Gender Gap Index. Image from Stoet & Geary, 2018.

By Alex Fradera

The representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and maths) is increasing, albeit more slowly than many observers would like. But a focus on this issue has begun throwing up head-scratching anomalies, such as Finland, which has one of the larger gender gaps in STEM occupations, despite being one of the more gender equal societies, and boasting a higher science literacy rate in its girls than boys. Now a study in Psychological Science has used an international dataset of almost half a million participants that confirms what they call the “STEM gender-equality paradox”: more gender-equal societies have fewer women taking STEM degrees. And the research goes much further, exploring the causes that are driving these…

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UK Government to ban fossil fuel systems in new builds by 2025

Tallbloke's Talkshop


Gas is supposed to be ‘polluting’, but wood-burning power stations are OK? Yet more climate-related government policy nonsense is wheeled out, in line with the obsession over a minor trace gas in the atmosphere.

Polluting fossil fuel heating systems such as gas boilers will be banned from being installed in new homes by 2025 under new plans proposed by the government, reports Energy Live News.

They will be replaced with the latest generation of clean technologies such as air source heat pumps and solar panels, according to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.

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Beauty wage premium econometric’s flaw is women think most men are ugly and men have no idea

From http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~hal/people/hal/NYTimes/2003-08-28.html

Politicians Who Win Elections Have Subtle Personality Differences Compared To Their Unsuccessful Rivals

Research Digest

Mayoral candidate addresses supporters at rallyBy Matthew Warren

Politicians seem to be a different breed from the rest of us. A 2017 study, for instance, found that American state politicians differed from the general public on each of the “Big Five” personality traits. But this kind of research has focussed on people who have already been successfully elected. What about failed politicians? Do those who lose elections show the same personality profile — or are there particular traits that separate the winners from the losers?

According to a new study on Canadian political candidates, there are. Successful candidates scored lower on one particular personality trait, openness to experience, the researchers report in Personality and Individual Differences. However, it seems too early to say whether this effect generalises to politicians elsewhere in the world.

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Reading Between The Lines: Why Girls’ Superior Reading Skills May Be Lowering Their Future Salaries

Research Digest

Smiling and cheerful schoolgirls reading a book together at schoolBy guest blogger Louisa Lyon

In many countries, the proportion of girls opting to pursue careers in lucrative fields such as engineering and computer science has stagnated. Despite the best efforts of schools, universities and governments, women remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the so-called “STEM” subjects. The shortage of women is particularly acute in professions with a heavy focus on maths. But why?

A recent study in PNAS suggests that the answer may lie in differences in ability between boys and girls. But surprisingly, the ability in question is not maths, but reading. In a nutshell, girls who are good at maths tend to be even better at reading, and as a result, many turn away from maths and opt instead to pursue careers that utilise their even stronger language skills. By contrast, boys who are good at maths tend not to show this same advantage in…

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