. "The Role of Science and Engineering in Development: Summary of Discussion--Michael Fischer." Science and Technology and the Future Development of Societies: International Workshop Proceedings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
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Science and Technology and the Future Development of Societies: International Workshop Proceedings
“relentlessly pleasant” in making one’s needs known. COACh is planning similar workshops in Cuba, Romania, and elsewhere.
In response to a question about the essential “natural difference between men and women,” one study has indicated a slight difference in three-dimensional puzzle-solving ability, a difference that disappeared if the women spent an hour ahead of the examination thinking about this type of problem. A recent study in Marseilles was also mentioned in which two groups of girls, ages 16–17, who were matched in socioeconomic and other ways, were given the same geometry problems to solve. One group was told they were mathematics problems, and the other was told that they were architecture problems. The first group scored an average of nine correct answers from 20 possible answers, whereas the second group’s average score was 15. For boys the scores were the same: 13 in both groups. All of these questions were measured statistically and do not have explanatory power about particular individuals.
In addition, family issues were discussed. Assuming that tenure is granted at around age 36, there could be difficulties in waiting to achieve tenure before having a family.
Do the workshops have any demonstrable effect on promotion data? Since the program is only four years old, it is too soon to tell. At one university with a step system in rank, it was possible to develop a salary comparison of males and females in each rank, resulting in some disparities. These are public data, and so people can look up their standing and complain. Minorities were at the top of their step, but women were often underpaid.
At this university, Sunday afternoon sessions were held for women faculty on how to get information about tenure requirements, where to obtain information, and so forth. This in turn led to agitation by women for an extra year for tenure. This approach was adopted for the parent who is the main child-rearer.
A paper was presented on trends in basic science in contemporary Iran, using Institute of Scientific Information data. Among other things noted was a dramatic increase in publications in the past few years. Of interest was whether the increase in publications was a function of a new, good English language medical journal; however, there are about 10 other English language journals, including Sciencefrom Shiraz, the Iranian Polymer Journal, and so on. Ninety percent of the 5,000 papers annually are published outside Iran.
There is now a surplus of physicians being trained in Iran in response to the trend of importing physicians in the early 1980s. The ratio of university applicants to places available is about 1 to 10, which means that there are 1.4–1.6 million applicants each year.
As to support of graduate students, Ph.D. students are given stipends and sign contracts with the university to work at the discretion of the university after they finish. Fields such as chemistry, which have sufficient scientists, are no longer subsidized, and some of the contracts have even been rescinded. In Iran, higher education is essentially free. Dormitory rooms cost very little, and food is subsidized.