Few women among most quoted professors

23.01.2007
A list of the 100 most quoted Norwegian professors shows that female professors are quoted much less frequently than men. Only seven of the top 50 professors are women. Male, Oslo-based professors dominate the list.
The media monitoring company Retriever has conducted the analysis commissioned by newspaper Morgenbladet. Espen Viskjer, the commercial director of Retriever, concludes that professors from scientific areas that face the most public interest also are the most quoted ones. "Many of the most frequent names are well-known personalities. The reason for their results is a combination of their personality, position and profession. How well they present themselves in the media is crucial for whether or not their scientific field is covered a lot," Viskjer explains to Morgenbladet.

Bernt Aardal, professor of political science at the University of Oslo says there is no status in appearing on the most quoted-lists: "Not at all. Most often there is no connection between media exposure and scientific skills, in some cases there is a negative connection," Aardal thinks.

Roy Tore Jensen from TV 2 Nyhetskanalen (news channel), recognises the difficulties in persuading women to participate in TV broadcasts: "My impression from the TV programme Tabloid is that women often refused to come. Sometimes I had to call ten women for every man," Jensen says.

Nina Witoszek, professor at The Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo, is number 28 on the list, and third among the women. "It is a question of choice of public risk. Other women might have other ways to show involvement. I choose to participate because I appreciate Hannah Arendt‘s definition of a free person as a citizen who is involved in the general debate. One of the reasons why I am so active, is that I started off as a student in a country where public involvement could be punished. That is why I enjoy my freedom here," Witoszek explains to Morgenbladet.

The analysis only includes professors and therefore associate professors and doctoral students are not counted.
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