I’m tempted to joke and say “Recruit hotter guys?” but that would be just as wrong as Razib’s charming notion of what cute women read for fun or our uncertain physicist’s misconception that there’s nothing that he can do to improve the situation for female students at his small college. Of course our physicist friend has tenure, now, so perhaps he’ll study up on Zuska’s suggestions. Besides, I don’t really think there’s a shortage of hot geeky guys, Zuska and I both found them, so I know they’re out there.
Making a real difference requires a climate change. Life science enrollment is pretty good, but the other tech classes could do with some anthropogenic global warming.
How do we initiate a permanent change?
If you have ideas, (I know Zuska has plenty), some researchers are seeking your input. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has posted a survey to gather your thoughts and suggestions for luring susceptible young women into technical fields.
The Science Education Department at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA, recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study this important issue in a systematic way. A 3-year project, titled “Persistence Research in Science and Engineering (PRiSE)” and headed by Dr. Philip Sadler, will collect and analyze data from approximately 4,000 college freshmen at 20 institutions, with the goal of identifying the factors that strengthen the interest in pursuing science in college, particularly for female students.