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How Dissent on Gender Bias in Academia Affects Science and Society: Learning from the Case of Climate Change Denial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


Gender bias is a recalcitrant problem in academia and society. However, dissent has been created on this issue. We focus on dissenting studies by Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, arguing that they reach conclusions that are unwarranted on the basis of the available evidence and that they ignore fundamental objections to their methodological decisions. Drawing on discussions from other contexts, particularly on manufactured dissent concerning anthropogenic climate change, we conclude that dissent on gender bias substantially contributes to (a) the exacerbation of biases in society and (b) an increasing number of attacks on researchers, making it both epistemically and socially problematic.

Research Article
Copyright 2021 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.

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We would particularly like to thank Uljana Feest, Dan Hicks, Philip Kitcher, Carole Lee, Robert Mitchell, Kristina Rolin, Torsten Wilholt, and three anonymous referees of this journal for valuable comments. Earlier versions were presented at the SPSP 2018 in Ghent and at the GAP10 2018 in Cologne. Anna Leuschner’s research for this article was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as part of the research training group GRK 2073 Integrating Ethics and Epistemology of Scientific Research. Each author is responsible for the article in its entirety, and both authors contributed equally to the final product.


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