14th Anna Mani Lecture

14th Anna Mani Lecture by Madhumita Mazumdar: 20 October 2022 Thursday, at 4 pm

YouTube live stream link: https://youtu.be/9Bwc2HDzgH8

Title: “Understanding the gendered cultures of science: the case for methodological pluralism”

Abstract: I wish to preface the talk with a discussion of my own work and that of others to develop the argument that the problem of women in science needs to be explored through a range of methodological perspectives that interface qualitative and quantitative approaches, objective and subjective data, numbers and narratives, macro and micro perspectives in ways that allow us to get a context-rich understanding of the experiential aspects of doing science as women. While I completely endorse the significance of the 'anecdote' as a methodological tool I would argue that to make personal narratives or anecdotes more context-sensitive, it would be imperative to locate these within broader institutional and political economic structures of modern scientific practice, particularly in its contemporary globalized, collaborative contexts. I would wish to illustrate this point by drawing attention to a very detailed report on the problem of the persistence of gendered structures in physics prepared by a group of European scholars in 2015. I would want to conclude by arguing that the complex ways in which gender manifests or plays out in contexts of scientific research and practice demand both methodological pluralism and more sustained transdisciplinary conversations.