Hannah Rubin (Spring 2021 Visiting Fellow) has been awarded a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
The grant begins this summer and the topic is: “Race, Gender, and the Science of Science.” An excerpt from her abstract is below. Congratulations, Hannah!
The “science of science” has recently exploded in popularity as researchers turn scientific methods of investigation around to investigate the practice of science itself. While some attention has been paid to issues of marginalization and representation, these concerns have generally not been brought to bear on other questions within the science of science regarding how to enhance scientific progress. The research component of this project fills the resulting gaps in our understanding. The project demonstrates when attempts to improve science not only further entrench (or even amplify) current injustices, but backfire, ultimately impeding scientific progress. Moreover, it examines how ideas spread throughout diverse communities, both providing insight into how current inequities hinder scientific progress and illuminating questions surrounding belief spread and polarization. Finally, it uncovers hidden, unsuspected roadblocks for marginalized groups and suggests potential remedies, promoting diversity in scientific fields. This research component is intertwined with teaching and outreach components, with initiatives including the development of courses discussing diverse methods used to investigate scientific practice (e.g., from philosophy, history, sociology, science of science), a national workshop for members of underrepresented/marginalized groups intending to pursue research in the science of science, and innovative K-12 STEM programming which demonstrates the importance of diversity in action.
This project employs tools from evolutionary game theory and network science to provide a picture of how aspects of social identity, e.g. race and gender, matter both to scientific progress and to how researchers scientifically investigate the institution of science.