A Feminist Critique of Scientific Objectivity

Is there a conflict of interest between women’s values and the values of science? If so, how will it be affected by the entrance of increasing numbers of women into the professions? If we are to accept the dominant liberal ideology of science, this question makes little sense. Science, we are told, is characterized by its objectivity, by its very lack of values. Women, as a group, have been unable to set priorities for research. This is not simply because scientists are male, but because women have little economic or political power. We argue here that some of the notions of “scientific objectivity” are effectively used to mask those relationships of power. We must reexamine the notion of scientific objectivity and the role it plays in our society.