A report to the membership from the Co-Editors of the History of Science Society.
Within weeks of the pandemic-enforced closures of universities, reports began circulating that women’s scholarly productivity was being directly and disproportionately affected. At first anecdotal, these accounts quickly acquired data that affirmed a general trend across the spectrum of academic disciplines: that female researchers were abruptly submitting fewer journal articles than they had been relative to previous years, and relative to their male counterparts.
Many of the root causes of this apparent decline were obvious. Women in and out of academia are disproportionately burdened with the care of children, the sick, and the elderly—responsibilities which only increase during a public health crisis. In both history and other fields, women are more likely to work as contingent faculty, or in academic jobs where research work is a low priority in a crisis.
Was Isis similarly affected? The short answer is yes. The better answer involves an acknowledgement of what we do and don’t know about our contributors and the factors that have affected them during the pandemic…