Feminist Biology?

by W.F. Price on April 23, 2014

The University of Wisconsin Madison is preparing to offer the first post-doctorate program in “feminist biology” in the US. So what is feminist biology? Apparently, it is not science at all, but rather more “intersectionality” gibberish:

UW was granted the opportunity by Gertraude Wittig, a German Ph.D. biologist in the 1950s, Janet Hyde, professor of psychology and director of the Campus Center for Research on Gender and Women, said. Wittig suffered through bias and sexism that many women faced during that time frame, she said.

After working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for several years, Wittig researched universities nationwide with strong gender and women’s studies programs to find one she believed had a strong emphasis on the intersection of gender and science, Hyde said.

“She concluded that ours was the best one to give the money to partly because we have a long history of representing biological research in our program, which is unusual for women’s studies programs,” Hyde said.

Hyde said they hope to make advances in approaches to science that detect gender bias in traditional biology and also pioneer new approaches to biological research that counteract those biases.

Houck said the department has a strong history of feminist analysis of science and biology and health. The post-doc is important for the department to continue its strong, innovative legacy, she said.

“For the larger university, what this does is sends a message to the academic community that UW-Madison cares about feminist science, they’re willing to promote feminist science and we want to be known as a university that supports and nurtures feminist science,” Houck said.


Fellows working in the program will be responsible for two parts, Hyde said.

The first is conducting biological research incorporating a feminist point of view, Hyde said, and the other is instructing a course for gender and women’s studies each semester. She said they have not had a faculty member be able to teach this course because of budget cuts over the past several years.

“What we need to do is produce more feminist biologists,” Hyde said. “We’re hoping to encourage that now and to make it a much larger and vibrant field.”

As colleges are beginning to fail around the US, instead of doing the sensible thing and eliminating useless departments like gender studies altogether, some are apparently choosing to wreck the legitimate disciplines by dumping contaminants like feminist biology into them.

When the universities inevitably go into steep decline, they will have only themselves to blame.

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