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Wed Jul 15, 2015, 09:41 PM

Social Media Is Catalyzing Change for Women in Science

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-imogen-coe/women-in-science_b_7667232.html

Another week, another debacle. Earlier this month, Nobel-prize winner Dr. Tim Hunt made extraordinary and highly-offensive remarks about women in science, which were reported by Pulitzer-winning journalist Deborah Blum in a manner that was careful to ensure accuracy and the opportunity for correction.

Hunt's comments and the outrage that ensued quickly reverberated around the globe. Scientists, both women and men, took to Twitter to protest Hunt's comments using the hashtag #distractinglysexy, making fun of his comments that female scientists are distracting in labs. It is worth noting that Hunt is much closer to the tail end of a remarkably successful career than the beginning. I have no doubt of the authenticity of his confusion and pain but we should all be subject to consequences when making completely unacceptable statements in a public venue, just as the supervisor of "Bothered" should face consequences for his unacceptable behaviour. This is the standard that we, women and men in science, now expect of each other, as colleagues. The Tim Hunt incident also demonstrates how important it is for scientists to fully understand and embrace the power and role of media, particularly social media.

The subsequent backlash against the on-line responses to Hunt's comments, including claims of an on-line "witch-hunt," confirmed that misogyny and sexism were still a problem in science. But as we have learned in the past few weeks, the world is changing -- and there are many clever and funny women doing great science, who may or may not be #distractinglysexy, but who are treated as valued colleagues by other women and men in science alike.

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Reply Social Media Is Catalyzing Change for Women in Science (Original post)
eridani Jul 2015 OP
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 #1

Response to eridani (Original post)

Thu Jul 16, 2015, 02:40 PM

1. And I'm glad

Having avenues of communication leads to avenues of power. Great article!

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