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Women, science and social change topic of March 24 lecture

BOONE—Dr. Mary Wyer, associate professor of psychology and women’s and gender studies at N.C. State University, will present the 4th Annual Dean’s Advisory Council Interdisciplinary Lecture March 24 at Appalachian State University.

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Her lecture, “Women, Science and Social Change,” begins at 7 p.m. in Room 114 of Belk Library and Information Commons. Wyer’s lecture coincides with Women’s History Month. It is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Women’s Studies Program and the Women Scientists’ Group. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Wyer’s talk will examine how stereotypes about scientists have changed in light of contemporary efforts to increase the participation of women in science. Wyer brings an empirical and interdisciplinary perspective to evaluating the strengths and shortcomings of programs designed to spark social change. She argues that these programs fall short if or when they fail to challenge the full range of gender inequalities that shape education, training and careers in science. She argues that universities have a critical role in educating the next generation to fully embrace diversity in science.

A student poster presentation and a reception will be held in Belk Library from 6:30-7 p.m. in the rotunda and hall outside Belk Library Room 114. The posters highlight research that is being conducted at Appalachian by female students, male students who have female mentors, and students who are doing research on gender topics.

Wyer will also be available to meet with female faculty members and administrators on Tuesday, March 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Room 421 of the Chemistry, Astronomy and Physics building. During the meeting Wyer will discuss some of her research findings on women in science and topics relevant to female faculty and their careers. She also will lead a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 25, at 3:30 p.m. in I.G. Greer Room 224 on the topic “Where Would Science Be Without Women?”

Wyer has been teaching, writing and conducting research about women, inequality and science for more than 20 years. She recently completed a third edition of the textbook “Women, Science, and Technology” (Routledge 2014). She has secured more than $1.2 million in funding from the National Science Foundation for these efforts, including an NSF ADVANCE Leadership Award (2002-05) for innovative approaches to addressing the underrepresentation of women in science.

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