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Seminar Series on Equal Opportunities

Bias in academic careers - and what do about it

by Prof. Tomas Brage (Lund University)





"In this talk, I will discuss what unconscious or implicit bias is and how it is not only psychological, but also embedded in the organisational culture. I will show quantitative and qualitative evidence of bias in our academic culture and exemplify the results of it, especially in careers and evaluation processes. This shows that some are given a tailwind, while others are subject to discrimination in the form of “micro-aggressions”, “non-events” or worse. An important point is that bias is a threat to not only fair processes, but also to the “excellence” of our institutions, by undermining meritocracy and academic freedom for all.

By examining a typical recruitment or promotion process I will give some examples of evidence-based actions and good practices to counter-act bias and protect true meritocracy."

Tomas Brage is a professor at the division of mathematical physics at Lund University. His physics research is focused on Computational Atomic Physics and its applications to different plasma. Tomas Brage is since long engaged in the topic of gender and science and is active in several European networks. Examples are the GENERA network for Gender and Physics and the GenderEX Horizon 2020 project. Brage also serves in several expert advisory groups for gender and science.




Organized by

The equal opportunities group at the department of physics and astronomy

Karin Schönning and Petra Jönsson