Diplomats, development experts and scientists joined the launch of the report entitled “The Role of Gender-based Innovations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Toward 2030: Better Science and Technology for All.” Managing editors Professor Heisook Lee, President of the Korea Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, and Dr Elizabeth Pollitzer, founder of the Gender Summit platform introduced the intersection between gender, science and global development goals at the event at the Korea Science and Technology Center in Seoul. The report points to gender-based scientific solutions for all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But what is a “gender-based innovation”, and how can it help a country develop? A gendered innovation is any product or knowledge created with sex and gender taken into consideration. Bearing in mind the female half of the population when conducting research may seem obvious. But, astoundingly, “male” has too often been considered the norm in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) to date. Think of using only male mice for drug laboratory testing; think of using only male proportions for car safety crash test dummies; or think of using the “model man” for setting radiation exposure standards. These are just some examples where women have suffered because of gender bias in research. Unfortunately science for development – or “sustainability science” is no exception. The launch forms part of a two week tour of South Korea and Japan that Dr Pollitzer is making, attending and contributing to a series of events on Gender and STEM. Read the full report.
28 January 2016