Seminar Announcement – Words Matter: The Effects of Language on Diversity in STEM

Dr. Kathryn Boucher presents “Words Matter: The Effects of Language on Diversity in STEM” at the upcoming Social Science for Scientists Seminar.

Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Building 240, Room 1406/1407

The Social Science for Scientists Seminar Series is hosted jointly by the Office of the Laboratory Director (OTD) and Women in Science and Technology (WIST).


Evidence exists of a persistent interest gap between female and male students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Although there are multiple explanations for this gap, this talk will focus on how the language we use when describing STEM fields and who studies and works within them differentially impacts female and male college students’ belonging and interest. Evidence will be presented that having a broader definition of what fields comprise STEM, encouraging students to identify with “being scientists” or “doing science tasks,” and communicating the belief that STEM ability can be developed all foster greater belonging and interest in STEM, especially for female students. Implications of this research will be discussed.

Dr. Kathryn Boucher

Dr. Kathryn Boucher

About the Presenter

Dr. Boucher received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Indiana University in 2013 and is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Indiana University. She earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2008. Dr. Boucher’s research interests center broadly around understanding the causes and consequences of a lack of diversity within educational and career contexts and testing strategies that mitigate these negative outcomes at the individual level and enhance diversity at the group level. She is interested in how negative group stereotypes and concerns about belonging impact female college students’ well-being, academic outcomes, and career aspirations.

Social Science for Scientists Seminar Series

The Social Science for Scientists Seminar Series explores relationships among scientists within the Argonne community and society at large. The series focuses on the dynamics of psychology, sociology, and humanities.