the professions of law and medicine. Although legally independent, universities existed by charter conferred by the monarch, and were valuable in staffing royal administration and developing the modern state. In many respects, early European universities had much in common with religious schools and academies in the Moslem and Asian worlds. In later centuries, however, the latter parted ways with how science and technology developed and the gradual democratization of access to secondary education in the West (Perkins 1991). A second precondition for the modern research university, therefore, is a well-functioning primary and secondary educational system to prepare students for university education. Intrinsically, this system of education should be largely secular and supportive of national and international norms of scientific inquiry and with a political system upholding both.
Closely associated with the creation of the modern research university is the growth of disciplinary and professional associations. Although not directly a precondition, they contribute to the organization of knowledge in a form in which standards of research are sustained and central concepts of each field are transmitted along with a discrete set of behaviors that set boundaries among the different fields. The fields and their professions are defined by the German sociologist Stichweh as “forms of social institutionalization… of processes of cognitive differentiation in science” (Stichweh 1994). As Tony Becher has put it so well in his Academic Tribes and Territories, this results in the creation of a scientific community with mutually comprehensible communications and a subject-specific language which defines the group and separates it from other knowledge-based groups (2004). This enables the growth of theoretical knowledge represented in textbooks characterized by: a.) codification, acceptance by consent, teachability; b.) a set of research methods and paradigmatic problem solutions; c.) a discipline-specific career pattern; d.) institutionalized socialization processes which serve to select and educate candidates according to the prevailing paradigms (Stichweh 1994).
Disciplinary membership became part of an international culture, which, as it developed, established that science is something men do, not women. While this is changing—and in some countries, changing rapidly—disciplinary organizations support the cultural framework for informal male networks, which continue to exclude women from access to higher education and professional employment.
By itself, the research university is a highly differentiated environment both apart from and reproducing the norms of society at large (Marginson 2010; Jaschik 2011). Today in the West, its values still bear traces of the period when the very small number of academics in universities were an elite, separated from the rest of society by the nature of intellectual work, who were curators of esoteric knowledge and recognized as members of an independent legal entity. Social and economic privileges accompanied this unique legal status, e.g., the two votes of each professor in German national elections until the Nazi period. One should remember that in any society prior to the modern period, academics were usually priests, thought to have a special relationship with god; indeed one can think of modern examples in which senior male professors tend to confuse themselves with god.
Along with a special status, the university and its faculty carry a particular responsibility as public actors. In the pre-modern period, this included preserving and transmitting knowledge and serving as expert advisors in largely illiterate societies. Today, this role is far more visible as academics advance knowledge through research and transmit it through teaching, publication, and service as experts, faintly echoing their historic role. All of these aspects of the present research university impinge on the participation of women in chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Women are newcomers to a historically developed community, not yet