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In New York for ISJR

In New York for ISJR


I’m visiting New York to attend the International Society for Justice Research biennial conference. In between amazing food, great live music, and my everlasting search for good coffee I’ll be hearing about top notch socially impactful research! My talk is at 2:10 on Saturday June 21 in the session “Overcoming obstacles to social change”, abstract below:

Feeling hopeful inspires support for social change

Hope is an emotion that has been implicated in social change efforts, yet no research has examined whether feeling hopeful actually motivates support for social change. Study 1 (N=274) confirmed that hope is associated with greater support for social change in two countries with different political contexts. Study 2 (N=165) revealed that hope predicts support for social change better than other emotions often investigated in collective action research. Study 3 (N=100) replicated this finding using a hope scale and showed the effect occurs over and above positive mood. Study 4 (N=58) demonstrated experimentally that hope motivates support for social change. In all four studies, the effect of hope was mediated by perceived efficacy to achieve social equality. This research confirms the motivating potential of hope and illustrates the power of this emotion in generating social change.



Women in Science meeting in Cambridge

Women in Science meeting in Cambridge

This week I met with seven incredibly talented female scholars in very diverse areas of science. We were brought together with support from a CIFAR Creativity Grant to discuss why women are still underrepresented at top levels in almost every academic domain. By the time women reach the hallowed rank of full professor, they represent only a third of the academic workforce. Why is this the case? At what point are women leaving academia?

We argue that the answer lies in the vulnerable early career stages in which women face some specific challenges that might put them at risk of missing out on—or dropping out of—an academic career. In particular, much of the attrition happens in the postdoctoral stage—the stage at which many of us on this team find ourselves. The postdoc years are the leakiest part of the academic faucet, the time at which women are most in danger of slipping through the cracks.

We’re currently working on an opinion piece that discusses these issues in relation to our personal experiences. There is a surprising amount of overlap in our experiences, especially considering that we come from such diverse fields! Here’s a taste of who is on the team:

Anne Broadbent – Quantum Computer Scientist

Maya Bhatia – Oceanographer

Margaret Frye – Sociologist and Demographer

Katie Greenaway – Social Psychologist

Elena Hassinger – Physicist in Quantum Materials

Else Stareknburg – Galactic Archaeologist

Vera Tai – Microbial Ecologist

Renate Ysseldyk – Social and Health Psychologist