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Director: Dr. Nicole Else-Quest

Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies

210 Smith Building



The Women and Science Program at UNC-Chapel Hill was established in 1993 by Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research, Dr. Mary Sue Coleman.  The program is housed with the Department of Women’s Studies as the substantial and emerging literature on gender and science includes scholarship in many fields – history, sociology, anthropology, education, psychology, philosophy, and social studies of science – but shares a common focus on gender and women. The Women’s Studies Department provides meeting ground and access to women’s networks and organizations on the UNC campus, and as of 2001/2002 a tenure-track position for a coordinating director of the program. In 2015 a new faculty, Dr. Lilly Nguyen, was hired for the Digital Humanities program. Dr. Nguyen will augment the offering of our undergraduate and graduate courses r4lated to science, technology and feminist techno-science.

The mission of the Women and Science Program is to work with the science departments on the UNC campus on attracting and retaining more women and minority students and faculty in sciences and mathematics. Our main efforts are to promote systemic change in the ways that science, and science education, are regarded and carried out at the University of North Carolina. Research has shown that the attrition rate of women in science, engineering and mathematics is greater than that of their male counterparts, even though the women’s academic standings are equal to or higher than the men in the studies. Women’s Studies is working to create a neutral space for students and faculty to voice their sense of healthy working relationships and productive environment without a fear of repercussions. The program exists to integrate the ideas, strengths, and approaches of women into research, teaching, and service, and to promote a supportive environment for women to study and work.

Currently the Women &Science Program serves a support and consultative role. Many Departments have reading and/or interest groups for women in a particular fields. We have been actively engaged with them in providing reading lists, serving on discussion panels and helping to organize colloquia. Any group – students, post-docs or faculty are encouraged to contact Dr. Nicole Else-Quest to receive advice on any aspect of gender and science, be it organizational or reading requests.

The Department regularly offers an undergraduate seminar WMST/ANTH 278 Women in Science (offered again in Spring 2016).


Read more about past activities.