Author meets Critics: Misconceiving Merit

Thu 24 August at 15.00 (UTC+3)

Misconceiving Merit. Paradoxes of Excellence and Devotion in Academic Science and Engineering

is an incisive study showing how cultural ideas of merit in academic science produce unfair and unequal outcomes. In the book, sociologists Mary Blair-Loy and Erin A. Cech uncover the cultural foundations of a paradox. On one hand, academic science, engineering, and math revere meritocracy, a system that recognizes and rewards those with the greatest talent and dedication. At the same time, women and some racial and sexual minorities remain underrepresented and often feel unwelcome and devalued in STEM.


Mary Blair-Loy

Professor, Co-Director, Center for Research on Gender in STEMM
UC San Diego, US

Mary Blair-Loy is professor of sociology and co-director of the Center for Research on Gender in STEMM at the University of California San Diego. She is the author of Competing Devotions: Career and Family among Women Executives.

Read more on Blair-Loy’s research and expertise on her faculty profile page.

Erin A. Cech

Associate Professor, Director of Undergraudate Studies
University of Michigan, US

Erin A. Cech is associate professor of sociology and mechanical engineering (by courtesy) at the University of Michigan. She is also the author of The Trouble with Passion: How Searching for Fulfillment at Work Fosters Inequality. 

Read more on Cech’s research and expertise on her faculty profile page.

Contact Information

email: work2023(a)

Chair, Professor
Anne Kovalainen

Marja Rautajoki

Research Assistant
Oskari Pukkila

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