Call for Papers: Virtual Conference- HIDDEN HISTORIES: WOMEN AND SCIENCE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
The twentieth century has often been hailed as a period when women became important in science, but their participation in scientific inquiry and practice often remains buried, quite literally, in the footnotes of specialist publications and studies of the history of science. Even today, national statistics about women in science are not always easily available. The data that does exist suggests there is significant regional and cultural variation in how women engage with science globally. Recent UNESCO surveys, for example, point to a contrast between the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, where almost half of the researchers employed in science are female, and East, South and West Asia, where that proportion drops significantly to 23 percent or less. Similarly, in Eastern European countries female researchers tend to be better represented in science fields than their Western European counterparts. Perhaps ironically, that relationship is reversed when we turn our attention to studies of the history of science in the twentieth century: the scientific pursuits of women in Western contexts have consistently enjoyed more visibility than those in regions like Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe. The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science (2000) is emblematic of these trends, listing as it does a mere 17 scientists from India, China and Japan, as opposed to more than 500 from Great Britain, and featuring entries up to the 1950s, a period that roughly overlaps with decolonization in Asia.
This two-day virtual conference, accompanied by a roundtable discussion, brings together scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds to address two main, interrelated questions: