The Construction of Excellence in Science: Problems, Challenges and Advancements from a Gender Perspective
In science, excellence is an important concept used to justify many decisions in a scientific career. This paper will look at this issue from a gender perspective, examining the different stages of a scientific career and how it is construed to arrive at the highest levels of leadership and decision making. The last 20 years have produced an important literature on women and science, and it shows that career paths of men and women are very different. It is necessary to unravel the complex interactions between institutional arrangements and personal preferences that might explain why so few women reach the top. A lot of recent research has also looked at how excellence is defined and measured, and how this affects the results for men and women. Another challenge when looking at excellence in science how this is developed in the international arena and how different countries and regions are positioned. Many international programs and organizations have shown what are the possible strategies for advancing women in science, and the paper will try to understand what are the sociological issues that support or hinder their success.