by Janet D. Stemwedel
Originally published: March 28, 2016
Scientists may have a harder time addressing problems that force them to confront their own subjective biases. Does this make swift NIH action on sexual harassment unlikely?
In a letter published in Nature, and in an on-the-record interview, NIH officials said the agency means business when it comes to addressing sexual harassment in science. This commitment, though, comes without specifics about the shape action will take — or about how long it will be before a response is mounted.
In the last decade, NIH concern about funding disparities for young and early career investigators led to decisive action that seemed to have a measurable impact on the problem, while the agency’s response to its stated concern about racial funding disparities seems to have gotten bogged down without accomplishing much.