Evelyn Fox Keller, professor of science, technology and society, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Sweden's Lulea University of Technology, which also conferred an honorary degree on Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister of Sweden. Professor Keller was honored for her work on gender and science, cited by the current minister of education as a "major inspiration for Swedish universities."
Mr. Carlsson was recognized for the major role he had played as minister of education and science in the establishment of the university at Lulea 25 years ago. Professor Keller's book, Reflections on Gender and Science, which explores the possibilities of a gender-free science and the conditions that could make it a reality, heavily influenced many of the programs now in place at Lulea.
Both Lulea President Ingegerd Palmer (a mathematician who helped start the Graduate School for Women and the Department of Gender and Technology) and Minister of Education Carl Tham hope to come to MIT next year to participate in a workshop entitled Comparative Perspectives on Wo-men in Science and Technology, which is being organized by MIT's Women's Studies program in cooperation with Lulea's gender and technology department.
Lulea is of particular interest to the Swedish government's affirmative action agenda for its success in recruiting women. This year, the education minister has guaranteed 30 new professorships for women plus an additional 22 professorships in gender studies, of which six are in science and technology.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 4, 1996.