Re: Questions for the Discussion

Date: Thu Dec 02 1999 - 11:51:51 EST

My name is Christine Min Wotipka and I am a doctoral candidate in
the International Comparative Education Program at the Stanford
University School of Education. I am working on a dissertation that
examines the way in which women in science has been framed at the
international level since roughly 1970 to the present. In particular, I
am interested in international efforts (e.g. conferences) that enhance
the participation of women in science, engineering, and technical
studies in higher education around the world.

Given my interests I am very interested in the efforts of the United
Nations, in particular, the Gender Advisory Board of the UN Commission on
Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), various international
NGOs such as WIGSAT and networks including OFAN. Therefore, I am pleased
to have the ear of Sophia Huyer and Jayshree A. Mehta, along with the
other on-line participants!

I was very excited to read Londa Schiebinger declare in her Opening
Statement that " is important to reverse our thinking and not ask
how can we encourage the science profession to accept women, etc.
but to ask what do women have to offer?" I am asking myself the
same question in my analysis of women in science at the global level.
In a recent analysis of global conferences that include attention to
women in science, my advisor, Professor Francisco O. Ramirez, and I
observe that the discourse of international conferences continues to
stress a liberal feminist perspective, that is, one of access to science.
The "Declaration on Science and the Use of Scientific Knowledge"
and the "Science Agenda, Framework for Action" which resulted from
the World Conference on Science in July 1999 offer somewhat limited
changes in the language to include calls for transformations in science
that involve the inclusion of women's indigenous knowledge to
science. As Schiebinger says in her introduction (and as are described
in her publications), there are many *additional ways* in which science
can and should be transformed to include feminist views (from both
feminist women and men).

I would very much like to hear more from Schiebinger and the others on
such possibilities. What has been done to include feminist views into

For those who were involved in the gender panel at the World Conference on
Science and other previous conferences relating to women and science, what
are the possibilities for future action at the global level to include
such transformative approaches to women in science that go beyond simply
calling for women's equal access to what is essentially a man's science?

I am certain that if any change is to occur, that it would be
NGO-inspired. Those more familiar with the work of international NGOs may
be able to describe for us how these organizations are working in this

I look forward to hearing from you and to the rest of the on-line

Warm regards,
Christine Min Wotipka

Christine Min Wotipka
School of Education
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-3096
Phone: (650) 497-6923

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