About Shifting Winds: Gendered Structures of Academic Mentorship
Every researcher alive today had mentors, those who helped assimilate them into a life of scholarly work. And in turn they each had their mentors, and so on to the dawn of knowledge. In the same way, each researcher’s mentees take their perspectives and methods to future mentees, and to their mentees, etc. These comprise the roots and branches, respectively, of the academic tree of a single researcher. If we let these ancestors’ and descendants’ genders affect these trees like a “wind,” most curl nearly to the earth. We depict and describe the structure of these trees, and how this wind has changed over the decades. To set these trees growing upright again we visualize giving differential weight to male and female researchers.
Francis Galton, Widest and Tallest Mentor Tree
Richard P Feynman, Mentor Tree
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