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OU on the BBC: BBC Inside Science - Women in science and open access journals

Updated Tuesday 30th September 2014

Do women have to contend with gender bias in the world of science awards? This is discussed and more in this week's BBC Inside Science.

In BBC Inside Science, Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

On this week's programme:

Royal Society investigates the decline in their awards to female scientists: Last week, the UK's national science academy, the Royal Society, announced its latest round of University Research Fellows (URFs). And they are almost all fellows - in the male sense of the word. Out of 43 new posts, only two of them are women.
 
These positions are for early-career, post-doctoral researchers. But, at the top of the tree, fewer than one in ten science professors are women, and one of the top UK scientific accolades - a Royal Society Fellowship - is held by only one in twenty.
 
To their credit, the Royal Society were "horrified" by this latest round, and their president, Sir Paul Nurse, immediately called for a full investigation into how this happened, saying "this sends out a bad message to young female scientists".
 
Reporter Tracey Logan asks why Royal Society grants are so important to young scientists, and whether this year's number of female recipients is a sign of gender bias on the awarding committees, or just a statistical blip in a fair process?
 
And Adam Rutherford meets Professor Julia Higgins to hear the latest just after participating in a diversity working group meeting at the Royal Society in London.
 
What are your thoughts on this? Share your views in the comments below. 
 
Getting science out from behind paywalls: You pay for science research via your taxes, but you may not get to see the results unless you pay again to read the journals that publish them.
 
Two major UK science publishers, the Royal Society publishing and Nature, have announced one apiece of their journals are going fully open access - broadly, free for anyone to read online.
 
The show discusses the way science makes it from the lab to the public, via the ever controversial system of publishing and peer review.
 
Adam is joined by Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal; Lesley Anson, chief editor of Nature Communications; and Chris Lintott, Professor of Astrophysics and Citizen Science Lead at the University of Oxford.
 
Want to share your views on any of the topics discussed in the programme? Use the comments function on this page or talk about the programme on Twitter using the #insidescience hashtag. 

Listen to Inside Science

Tune in to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 2 October at 16:30 to listen to this week's programme. More information and a link to listen again later will be available from the BBC's Inside Science pages.

 

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