Response to 'Awards for Women'

Awards for Women


That was my response. Something between a derisive snort and a laugh.

Highlighting mine:

Programme aims to boost scientific participation for women from 81 developing nations. Five early-career female researchers from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean are to be honoured with US$5,000 Elsevier Foundation Awards in a programme to encourage women to pursue science in nations that lack scientific expertise, resources and gender equality. “They are not given the opportunity to do good science,” says Peter McGrath, a programme officer for co-sponsor TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world in Trieste, Italy. “This is a way to bring their work to the international forefront.” Nominations for researchers from 81 eligible nations who earned PhDs in the past 10 years will be accepted until 30 September.

Point the first: five people receiving $5,000 each is a pittance. Really? $25,000 is all you can muster? Come on, Elsevier, you've got to be bringing in more than that, considering the ridiculous costs of your journals.

Point the second: $5,000 will go a lot farther in, say, Burma than in Baltimore, but I'm sure there are other places on the list of 81 nations where $5,000 would get used up very fast.

Point the third: will $5,000 each to five women really be enough to "bring their work to the international forefront"? Somehow I don't think so.