Three links I think are interesting. Look how lazy I’m getting.
///// Why “Science Cheeleaders” aren’t so great for female scientists. Sci recounts literally the same conversation that I’ve had about this with friends. It was almost like dejavu, reading it.
And when I see science cheerleaders, bouncing around in teensy shorts and extensive cleavage…well, they’re cheering for science, but they are also making themselves objects. Objects to be looked at by men, and not really to be taken seriously. And seeing them objectified seems to make it that much more ok to objectify the other women in science. The women on the job, the one’s who want to be presenting the papers and not holding the pom-poms. You see that woman, on the job…and you know, she’s HOT. She could be a CHEERLEADER.
///// Photograph 51 – and how it reminds us how far we haven’t come.
But although the story is set nearly six decades ago and despite the purposeful dramatisation, the scenes felt all too familiar to my own experiences in graduate school at Harvard University. “One thing that has surprised me,” says playwright Anna Zeigler, “is that a lot of female scientists have come to see the play and said that the world isn’t all that different today.”
Yet in Victorian Britain, the very idea of women doing serious science (except botany and perhaps geology) was widely ridiculed and even botany (with its naming of sexual parts) could be regarded as morally perilous. Mary Anning (1799-1847), the great West Country palaeontologist, struggled for years to have her discoveries – such as the plesiosaurus – recognised as her own.