The Influence of Bias on Science

The research was conducted by Yale scientists, in which laboratory scientists were presented with job applications for a student laboratory assistant position. Half were given an application from a “male” applicant. The other half were given the identical application, from a “female”. The allegedly female applicant was consistently marked as less competent and less likely candidates than were the allegedly male applicants (Yuriewicz).
Thus, gender bias definitely exists in the scientific community, and it blocks equality of opportunity (Yuriewicz). The masculine bias would obviously shape the field of science significantly. The findings strongly indicated that female scientists also rated male applicants as more competent and more likely candidates (Yuriewicz). This indicates that the bias in those who pride themselves on objectivity is sub-conscious and unquestioned. This effect can and should be minimized through gender bias awareness training, and through a more objective applicant screening process, one carried out by a computer program, for example.
A positive influence bias in science is the strong bias for journal publication and citation search indexes to include only English research articles (Granda-Orive, Solano-Reina and Jimenez-Ruiz 104). There is a negative influence, in that language, not quality, positions papers to be cited and quoted (104). Yet, there is a positive influence in that language and thought are closely intertwined, and it is beneficial to the advancement of scientific knowledge for there to be a global base from which to theorize. Replication is part of the scientific method, so common language brings common understanding and a common framework within which to communicate. The negative effect can and should be minimized by maintaining a citation database for non-English papers, but the positive influence of this bias outweighs the negative impact and should be supported.