Philosopher Carla Fehr, associate professor and Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Waterloo, recently brought her insights to Gainesville to discuss recent research linking workplace diversity and scientific excellence. Her talk included thoughts on the underrepresentation of women in the workforce and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) discipline teaching positions.
Fehr spoke at the Millhopper Library Branch with a talk entitled “What Evolution Can’t Tell Us about Women’s Sex and Work” and at Ustler Hall at the University of Florida on “Ignorance, Women and Excellent Science.” Her lectures raised the issue of diversity in the workplace, and how unconscious prejudices can hinder beneficial change. A lack of diversity can limit new perspectives, she says, which can squash creativity and innovative ideas.
Fehr’s visit to Gainesville marks the fifth appearance in the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere’s “Rehumanizing the University” series, which aims to reintroduce the liberal arts into discussions of important issues in our society and educational institutions. The next speaker in the series is Suzanne Marchand, a professor of history from Louisiana State University. She will be speaking at the Smathers Library at UF on Mar. 26.