Patenting and the Gender Gap: Should Women Be Encouraged to Patent More?

Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):491-504 (2013)
The commercialization of academic science has come to be understood as economically desirable for institutions, individual researchers, and the public. Not surprisingly, commercial activity, particularly that which results from patenting, appears to be producing changes in the standards used to evaluate scientists’ performance and contributions. In this context, concerns about a gender gap in patenting activity have arisen and some have argued for the need to encourage women to seek more patents. They believe that because academic advancement is mainly dependent on productivity (Stuart and Ding in American Journal of Sociology 112:97–144, 2006 ; Azoulay et al. in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 63:599–623, 2007 ), differences in research output have the power to negatively impact women’s careers. Moreover, in the case of patenting activity, they claim that the gender gap also has the potential to negatively affect society. This is so because scientific and technological advancement and innovation play a crucial role in contemporary societies. Thus, women’s more limited involvement in the commercialization of science and technology can also be detrimental to innovation itself. Nevertheless, calls to encourage women to patent on grounds that such activity is likely to play a significant role in the betterment of both women’s careers and society seem to be based on two problematic assumptions: (1) that the methods to determine women’s productivity in patenting activities are an appropriate way to measure their research efforts and the impact of their work, and (2) that patenting, particularly in academia, benefits society. The purpose of this paper is to call into question these two assumptions.
Keywords Gender-gap  Patenting  Commercialization of science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11948-011-9344-5
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,492
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Gender Issues in US Science and Technology Policy: Equality of What?Susan E. Cozzens - 2008 - Science and Engineering Ethics 14 (3):345-356.
How Can You Patent Genes?Rebecca S. Eisenberg - 2002 - American Journal of Bioethics 2 (3):3 – 11.
Gender and Philosophical Intuition.Wesley Buckwalter & Stephen Stich - 2013 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy, Vol.2. Oxford University Press.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
6 ( #566,332 of 2,180,690 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,383 of 2,180,690 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums