September 2011

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Take one of the ASBMB surveys evaluating gender issues in academic science. 


ASBMB Gender Surveys

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Survey for all ASBMB members:

An American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology task force has launched two surveys about the roles of gender and family in the lives of biochemistry and molecular biology faculty members.

Led by Elizabeth C. Theil of Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, the task force designed the fi rst survey for department leaders to collect information about the gender composition of both programs and candidates for academic positions advertised between 2005 and 2010.

“These new numbers will build on and contrast with an informal analysis ASBMB conducted in 1986,” Theil explains. “That data made clear that a disproportionately small number of female ASBMB members held faculty positions.”

In the decades that have followed, the loss of women from the academic science pipeline has been widely documented, and various mechanisms have been implemented to plug the leak, Theil says.

“We hope that the new survey data will document marked improvement and also identify barriers that exist today so that new solutions can be forged,” she says.

The second survey was designed for all ASBMB members to assess the role of gender and family issues in career development, promotion and mentoring. Completion should take about 10 to 15 minutes, and participants can enter a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card.

Both surveys were created in collaboration with AltshulerGray, a strategic consulting fi rm that serves biomedical research enterprises.

Appointed by ASBMB President Suzanne Pfeffer, the task force also includes Melanie H. Cobb of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Judith P.Klinman of the University of California, Berkeley, Frederick R. Maxfi eld of Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Janet L. Smith of the University of Michigan Medical School, and JoAnne Stubbe of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The surveys will remain open through the end of September.

Angela-HoppAngela Hopp ( is a science writer and handles public relations for ASBMB.

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