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October 13, 2004

IRWG to tackle tough gender questions affecting universities and society, new director says

Londa Schiebinger, the new director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), wants to make it the “go to” center for gender studies everywhere.

Recognized as a leading scholar on gender and the history of science, Schiebinger was hired last spring, following a nationwide search, to lead IRWG as the Barbara D. Finberg Director for the next five years. She is also a professor in the Department of History.

Schiebinger, 52, most recently held the Edwin E. Sparks Professorship of the History of Science at Pennsylvania State University, where she and her husband, Robert N. Proctor, co-directed the Science, Medicine and Technology in Culture Program for nine years. The couple met at Harvard, where they earned their master’s and doctoral degrees in 1977 and 1984, respectively. Proctor also is a historian who was recently appointed to the Stanford faculty.

Schiebinger has ambitious plans to expand the institute’s reach across campus. So far, she has secured $3 million toward a new $10 million endowment that will establish a broader financial base supporting new programs. The centerpiece of the institute’s new initiatives is a Research Fellowship Program open to faculty and graduate students, as well as national and international scholars. During the next few years, she said, scholars will be selected for work on women and gender in science and technology.



Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,


Londa Schiebinger: (650) 723-2760,

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