2nd Anna Mani Lecture

October 2018 : 2nd Anna Mani Lecture by Sumi Krishna

30th October 2018 : 2nd Anna Mani Lecture by Sumi Krishna

YouTube Video link: https://youtu.be/-9-OOcXoVqQ

Title : How does gender matter in the Physical Sciences?

Venue : NCRA-TIFR, Pune

BIO of Speaker: Sumi Krishna, an independent scholar, has been President of the Indian Association for Women’s Studies. She has over 40 years of experience in environment, development and gender, at the policy, programme and field levels, encompassing biodiversity, natural resource management and livelihood issues. She has been visiting professor at various universities and institutions and has been involved in curriculum development, in particular with integrating gender in agriculture and environmental science courses, research methodology and practice. She has authored several books and essays, and co-edited Feminists and Science: Critiques and Changing Perspectives in India (vol. 1 and 2).

​Abstract: It is now well-established that the language and narratives embedded in the cognitive culture of several natural science disciplines reflect and reinforce existing social biases, shaping the knowledge, attitudes and practice of these disciplines. This may not, as yet, be so clear in the physical sciences, but the gender imbalance in the numbers of professional physicists and astrophysicists has been widely noted, with the ratio of men to women becoming increasingly skewed at the higher levels of scientific research and administration. There is an intuitive
understanding that diversity in science professionals would enhance creativity and productivity. But because the reasons for the lack of diversity are complex and under-researched in India, responses tend to be short term and ad hoc. In order to develop a strategy to address gender issues in the physical sciences, there is urgent need for interdisciplinary dialogue and research on critical questions, such as:


  • How is a person’s identity as a scientist constructed?
  • How is the public perception of a science developed?
  • How does the number of women professionals in a science matter?
  • How do implicit biases influence women’s entry into and progress as scientists?
  • How is the concept of merit/ competence in science shaped?
  • How does the institutional structure become gendered?