If an old school opinion speaks in a new-age forest, should it matter?

Did you know that lady scientists, oh I’m sorry, “girls” have some trouble in science because they keep ending up in affairs with the man scientists? Also, they cry when you criticize them? Indeed, according to Tim Hunt, these serious concerns about girls in science actually warrants segregated labs.

Segregated labs! Well that would just solve the pesky issue of your advisor constantly trying to look down your shirt! Now why didn’t you think of that, Alice?

 

Yep. This is just the latest high-profile crap about us “girls” in STEM we’ve been hearing lately. But if we have segregated labs, where we will get the necessary male co-author?? But, you know, the internet was pretty swift (and hilarious) in calling out this BS – and, at least for Dr. Hunt, consequences came fast (and Alice’s piece was removed… but not really as that’s not how the internet works).

 

We’d like to use these recent examples for our next Diversity Journal Club – but not just them specifically. We’re doing another where we’re not really assigning a reading, and we’re using these latest little whoop-si-doodles! to have a larger conversation. Ian brought up the point that both Dr. Hunt and Dr. Alice are of the old guard if you will – an older generation of scientists that have experienced a different time. If the reaction to either is any indication, the minds of many (let’s hope) have changed, especially in the newer generation. There is forward movement here. Yet it got us thinking…

  1. Does the public response to these recent sentiments mean we have progressed passed these recent sentiments? If so, should we care what they have to say? Are these people we need to engage, or as the ‘old guard’, do we focus on others in younger generations?

  1. These are respected scientists (you don’t get a job writing for Science or a Nobel Prize for nothin’), and people who work with and care about them. And, ya know, I hazard a guess we all know people who say sometimes wildly wrong things (I know I do). How do you maintain relationships with people who say these things? Should we? If so, is an important part of that relationship to engage them? Or do people negate their behavior because they’re old school/come from a different time/whathaveyou?

  1. Is the public shaming we have witnessed (and *ahem* participated in) a good thing, or problematic?

 

We recognize this is a pretty wide range of topics, but think of them as ‘jumping off points’ for discussion that we felt were interesting, and would initiate a different conversation. We may revisit some that we don’t cover another time (such as the public shaming one…).

 

Join us to see what transpires on Monday 15 June at 2pm ET!

Emily (@DrEmilySKlein)
Doctor PMS (@Docto_PMS)
Ian (@IHStreet)

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2 thoughts on “If an old school opinion speaks in a new-age forest, should it matter?

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