Monday, May 26, 2014

Faculty of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

I've seen a number of papers published recently from the Sanger Institute that look specifically at genetic variation in the human population. Some papers look quite interesting. I thought it would be worth snooping to see how much genetic variation there was in the faculty of this institution.  After looking, I don't know what to say.  The International Fellows program at the Sanger Institute looks interesting, but it is only two people working in Africa.  Otherwise, the core composition of the faculty looks very male and not diverse.  I did briefly check other institutions working in this area, and while the situation across the board does not appear to be much better, the prominent and well funded Sanger Institute does appear to perhaps have a problem in the area of "unconscious bias".  Were I a donor to the Wellcome Trust, I would think about directing my donation elsewhere.

Wellcome Trust Report on Women, Science, Engineering and Technology for Patricia Hewitt

Note that this Wellcome Trust report is a poor cousin compared to the 1999 A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT.  In being asked about unintended bias (Question 4), the report states that funding award rates for men and women appear to be equal.  Said and done, then.  Nothing said about bias in access to informal networks, access to conferences, being stuck in a lectureship with high teaching loads, differential childcare and family responsibilities, to name a few of the other ways in which differential bias might occur.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Faculty (Link)

Academic Faculty:  34
Academic Faculty (female non-minority):  4 (11.8%)
Academic Faculty (male minority):  4 (11.8%)
Academic Faculty (female minority):  0

Associate Faculty:  12
Associate Faculty (female non-minority):  1 (8.3%)
Associate Faculty (male minority):  0
Associate Faculty (female minority):  0

International Fellows (Africans working in Africa):  2
International Fellows (women):  0

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