Bias Detecting Game Receives $2M in Backing

A University of Wisconsin-Madison doctor is the beneficiary of three-year long, $2 million grant to develop an interactive game designed to “uncover and neutralize implicit, unintentional biases against women, minorities and people with disabilities.”

The grant, entitled the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce, came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Molly Carnes (pictured), Director of the school’s Center for Women’s Health Research, will oversee the development of the games, which will “place faculty in situations where they can recognize the self-defeating nature of implicit bias.”

An example given was “a faculty member might be asked to compete to hire a top scientist with another university and to schedule an accessible campus visit to Madison for the candidate, who needs a wheelchair.”

Carnes, who hopes the game will improve diversity on the UW-Madison campus, added, “For 25 years, the research agencies have said, if the U.S. is going to maintain its competitive edge in a global economy that is increasingly knowledge-based, we must invest in the domestic workforce in science, math, engineering and medicine.”

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