The Perfect Science Team

Woman in Lab (Credit: UMassAmherst/Flickr)The growing number of professional women scientists invites studies like the one conducted by Teresa Woodruff, a professor of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, Medical Social Sciences.

Woodruff, with an international team of six other scientists, is analyzing publication records of nearly 4,000 male and female faculty members across the U.S. From this they can identify teams of scientists, and they are the first to create a repository of gender-based science teams, Woodruff said.

“We’re very interested in understanding how team science influences quality and quantity of science,” Woodruff said. By studying different teams of scientists, Woodruff and colleagues found that teams comprised of both men and women performed better than male-only teams.

“I think that’s an exciting outcome,” Woodruff said. “What it says is that you will have better outcomes for science if you include women.”

The scientists also found that women co-author papers with the same team of individuals less often than men, which Woodruff said, “puts them at a disadvantage for the highest quality and outcomes.”

The presentation “Gender differences in collaboration patterns,” is at 11:15 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 in Room 401.


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