EDITORIAL

Measuring and managing bias

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, pp. 849
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap7679

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Summary

As someone who grew up with a mother who was a medical researcher, who has been married to a woman very active in scientific research for more than 30 years, and who has had many female colleagues and students, I was surprised when I first took a test to measure implicit gender bias and found that I have a strong automatic association between being male and being involved in science. We all carry a range of biases that are products of our culture and experiences or, in some cases, of outcomes that we desire. Fortunately, many such biases can be measured and, in some cases, effectively managed. A key is to first acknowledge their presence and then to take steps to minimize their influence on important decisions and results.