The Zootis working group on equal opportunities hosts:

Malin Ah-King: The female turn

Malin is an evolutionary biologist and gender researcher currently at Stockholm University. She focus problematizing notions of biological sex.

Abstract to her talk: This project explores how the international evolutionary research community shifted perspectives on the role of females in evolutionary biology. The project aims at understanding the negotiation of knowledge and scientific norms concerning females during the history of sexual selection research. Who suggested new theories, presented new empirical data and what were their contexts/histories? What theoretical, empirical, technical innovations or societal changes enabled shifting perceptions of females?

Sexual selection, the evolutionary theory concerning sex differences, is both an expansive and controversial field. Theoretically, females were long expected to gain no benefit from mating with more than one male. Since 1980, evolutionary biologists' views have undergone a radical shift following the findings that females often mate with multiple males. Early polyandry research was male-focused, followed by increased interest in questions pertaining to females. In this project, I have interviewed 15 researchers in sexual selection and use the interviews as well as scientific publications to analyse the development in the field and the differences between e.g. Ornithology and Entomology. My theoretical point of departure is feminist science studies and sociology of scientific knowledge.

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The equal opportunities group at Zootis
Ciaran, Sara, Ulf, Sören & Linda