Posts Tagged ‘science’
(An open letter to Tesco, inspired by, and in support of, this article by Let Toys Be Toys: “Since when were science toys just for boys?“. Update: Tesco’s most recent tweet to me – 9 March 8.33pm BST – read: “@SciDoll In light of this feedback we will be reviewing how toys are categorised online and will be carrying out further research.” Well, we’ll see what happens. In all events, the place you ought to be heading is the Let Toys Be Toys website, to give them your support and catch up on all the latest news.)
I do hope you’ll excuse the impertinence of my writing to you. I have, alas, frivolously wasted time in gaining a PhD in theoretical physics, investigating the mysteries of the universe, and co-founding a biomedical charity to address the suffering caused by the diseases of aging. Regretfully, I have spent woefully little time in the kitchen. If only you had been there, in my early days, to guide me in my life choices: then, perhaps, things would have been very different.
Words fail me. Well, not quite. There are some words left, like “appalling,” “horrendously ill-judged,” “insulting,” “misogynistic,” and so on. You see, there’s this campaign by the European Commission to get more women involved in science and, it must be acknowledged, some of its output aligns with this laudable aim. However, the ‘teaser’ video they produced – to which I cannot bring myself to link – does anything but.
As I Tweeted earlier today, now I’m worried I’ll have to give my PhD back as it’s titled “Black Hole Entropy from Causal Sets” and not “Cupcake Entropy from Rainbows”.
More worthy commentators than I have, er, commented, and so here are a few links, many of which do include the video. (I am not responsible for feelings of nausea and anger arising from the viewing of said video.)
Olga Khazan in the “Washington Post” blog: E.U.’s ‘Science, it’s a girl thing’ campaign sparks a backlash
Carin Bondar in “Scientific American”: Science – It’s a Girl Thing (Insert Facepalm Here)
Frank Swain in “SciencePunk” on “ScienceBlogs”: Science: It’s a girl thing. Excuse me while I die inside.
PZ Myers in “Pharnygula” on “ScienceBlogs”: Science: It’s a Girl Thing!
BakingBiologist’s blog (which, in addition, shows an early draft of the associated Facebook page, using language more closely reflecting the video): Science: It’s a girl thing (or “How to patronise women and alienate your audience”)
Update 1, 23rd June, 2012: Well, I’ll be: they swapped out the video.
The European Commission created a Twitter list of real women in science (which I’m on, apparently. No, it’s too much. Really. I’d like to thank my mother for being such a role model to me, and…).
In which Holmes is excited, your host reflects on physics, and a little nostalgic reverie is shared.
I was awakened by a tugging at my shoulder. It was Holmes. The candle in his hand shone upon his eager, stooping face, and told me at a glance that something was amiss.
“Come, Watson, come!” he cried. The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”
(The Adventure of the Abbey Grange, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1904)
In science, discovering that a theory is supported by experiment is wonderful. But discovering that it’s wrong is often when the real excitement begins. And more often than not, it involves wearing clothes. I'm dressed and ready to read more.