A small but growing body of philosophically informed survey work calls into question whether the value-free ideal is a dominant viewpoint among scientists. However, the survey instruments used in these studies have important limitations. Previous work has also made little headway in developing hypotheses that might predict or explain differing views about the value-free ideal among scientists. In this article, we review previous survey work on this topic, explain limitations of the survey instruments used, describe an improved survey, report results from an initial administration of it that strengthen and refine previous results, and develop two hypotheses that may account for gender effects found in the data. These hypotheses suggest that gender socialization and a greater tendency for female scientists to be aware of sexism in their fields makes them more likely to reject certain aspects of the value-free ideal.

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