(Popular Science) The University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking for a particular kind of biologist: a feminist one. The university has set up a fellowship, administered by its women's studies department, for life sciences research. While it may sound strange for a social sciences department to host a biologist, the researchers in charge of the new fellowship are hoping to make it more of a norm.
Scholars have long talked about how gender bias affects biology research. Thirty years ago, biologists always described sperm as "penetrating" or "burrowing" into passive eggs, even after research showed that eggs play an active role in fertilization… and that sperm's swimming is too weak to penetrate an egg. Today, scientists know that eggs and sperm recognize each other, grab onto each other, and fuse to form embryos. (So romantic!) But gender bias continues in other branches of biology. Just this month, Popular Science reported on the problems behind neuroscience studies purporting to find "hardwired" differences between men's and women's brains.