Australia: Funder bars university from grant programme over white-male award line-up

Article here. Excerpt:

'Australian researchers have largely applauded a decision by a powerful research funder to bar academics at the University of Melbourne from winning the foundation’s prestigious million-dollar fellowships over concerns about gender and diversity.

The decision, announced by the Snow Medical Research Foundation on 7 March, comes after the University of Melbourne released a picture of six white men — but no women or people of colour — receiving honorary degrees, one of the university’s highest accolades, in a ceremony on 28 February. Researchers told Nature that the hard line from the foundation — Snow medical is Australia’s largest philanthropic funder of medical research — could prompt universities to tackle gender inequality more aggressively.

It was amid this political climate that the University of Melbourne hosted the honorary degree ceremony at which the picture was taken — one of its first in-person events since the start of the pandemic. James McCluskey, deputy vice-chancellor of research at the university, says that other people, including three women and an Indigenous man, were scheduled to receive honorary awards that day but weren’t able to make it.

What remained were the six white men, and “rather stupidly, someone took a photo and posted it, thinking it was something to celebrate”, says McCluskey. “It backfired very badly.”'

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