A Google employee gained notoriety and a pink slip after circulating a controversial memo claiming that differences between men and women make them more or less able to do their jobs well. The social science results cited in the memo remain controversial, as do the writer’s arguments about how those results bear on work in the high-tech sector.
Whether you plan to work in high tech or practice an ancient art, you will encounter differing views in the workplace. Through this course you will develop your own perspective on the claims in the Google memo specifically and become better able to evaluate other biopsychological, linguistic, and evolutionary claims about how people interact and solve problems.
You will write and revise a memo of your own based on readings and class discussion. Your memo will respond to at least two of the claims made in the Google memo and apply them to your own area of professional interest. Working with classmates, you will develop interview questions based on course topics and pose them to invited speakers who are working in high tech. At the end of the course block, you will make a brief presentation to the class about a topic from the course that needs further research.