Gender and Technoscience: A Historical Perspective

Pnina Geraldine Abir-Am


This paper explores turning points in the historical relationship between gender and technoscience, most notably the gender parity of the 2009 Nobel Prizes; the public debate on the under-representation of women in science that raged world-wide but especially in the US during 2005-2006; and the construction of a public memory for a leading woman technoscientist in the mid-1990s. The paper situates these turning points in the context of historical events, most notably the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century, WW2 and the Cold War, the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s that legally ended overt gender discrimination, and the rise of covert gender discrimination since the 1990s. The paper concludes by drawing attention to recent findings on new technoscientific environments, most notably biotech start ups, as innovative settings that offer flexibility, and hence a more viable route to gender parity.


covert discrimination; gender; history; parity; power relations; public memory; technoscience; women scientists.

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