Exploring diversity in science textbooks

When Kathy Burleson, a senior lecturer of biology at Hamline University, was preparing to teach a course on the biology of women, she was surprised that she couldn’t find any images of the female muscular system to use for the class. “I got really curious about the discrepancies in how women’s and men’s bodies are portrayed across anatomy and physiology textbooks,” she said. To learn more, she embarked on a research project in 2016 with the goal of helping to close diversity gaps in STEM.“Textbook images tell us a story about science and who belongs in science,” she said. “My hope is that, informed from interviews and data, we can give textbook publishers something to think about.”