Geri Richmond urges more steps to weed out bias in science

UO chemistry professor Geri Richmond

Chemistry professor Geri Richmond, the UO’s Presidential Chair in Science, knows something about bias in the research world.

A cofounder of COACh, the Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists, she has seen how women have sometimes been disadvantaged in the sciences. And she’s experienced it herself.

Throughout an illustrious career, Richmond has pushed back against that kind of bias. And now she’s calling for scientists, peer reviewers and research funders to tackle a more ingrained form of bias, one that many people may not even be award they have, known as implicit bias.

In an op-ed article on the livescience.com website, Richmond describes how some people may unconsciously express preferences for male or American researchers in hiring and funding decisions. This kind of implicit bias, she says, can be addressed through changes in how peer review and funding decisions are made, and she encourages better data collection, data sharing and other methods to weed out research bias.

“Even among the most well-meaning journal editors, science funders and peer-reviewers, this ‘implicit bias’ can have consequences that undermine innovative ideas, the importance of discoveries and valuable contributions from the full talent pool,” she writes.

For the full story, see “To Advance Science, It’s Time to Tackle Unconscious Bias” on livescience.com.