How we keep women out of science

We are not surprised by some of the reaction to last night’s essay on the PBS NewsHour from Eileen Pollack, one of the first two women to receive an undergraduate degree in physics at Yale.

Her recent book, “The Only Woman in the Room,” documents why science is still pretty much a men’s club. The essay should be required viewing today.

Many men have a difficult time recognizing this reality. Why? What threat does recognizing it present?

“Are we not even going to have a conversation about how only 43 percent of men graduate college?” a male commenter on the essay asks, as if that’s a competing issue. He’s referring to Judy Woodruff’s note that women in the U.S. earn just over 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees in all fields.

That inability to process a simple statistic neuters the comment of another.

“It seems to me that women are revolutionary more adapted for social and emotional skills and not necessarily logical and mathematical thinking,” writes another. “Because that’s the role they have to play in nature.”