Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stereotypes and Science, the journal

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Science 1883 Cover
By The Science Company [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

I am not a regular reader of Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest scientific organization in the world.  I have no defense. Hamline University's Bush Memorial Library is just across the street--"just a stone's throw away" (a stretch, though, for my arm but not for my legs).

Earlier this summer I discovered that Science publishes advice for scientists. I'd never heard about it.

I read one of the letters and the advice which was widely circulated on the blogosphere. In the mildest of terms, I was put-off. Disbelieving. First, it was from an organization that has a public commitment to welcoming, nurturing and advancing women in science.  Second, the advice was from a woman to a woman.  I had to read her name twice for that to register. How in this wide world could her response make it through what I assumed was a rigorous and critical editing and review process of a premier journal.

Recently, a letter was sent to the publisher of Science and to BuzzFeed News, signed by about 600 scientists denouncing this obvious example of sexism as well as other instances which reinforce stereotypes.

BuzzFeed News reporters Cat Ferguson and Azeen Ghorayshi provide background and examples in their column which includes examples. And I learned that the advice column has a name: Science Careers. One of the recommendations in the letter--there are several--is diversity training.

About time.

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