Articles

Steminism Sunday: Dr. Ellie Sattler

Welcome to a new occasional series here on ye olde blog! As a former woman in science, I have a deep and enduring interest in the experiences and representation of women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This series will be a opportunity for me – and you – to get to know some of these intellectual badasses. To kick us off, paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. Yes, yes, I know. Ellie Sattler is not an actual person: she’s a fictional character from the book and movie Jurassic Park. But Jurassic Park launched one of the most profitable...

Mad Science in the Movies: Ghostbusters Edition

I love the new Ghostbusters. I really, really, do. It’s funny, it has great special effects, the casting (including supporting characters) is brilliant. And despite being a fantasy, it’s so authentic, it almost hurts. Academia really is that cutthroat. Female academics really do receive comments on their attire and appearance as often as they do on their work. Reputations really do rise and fall that quickly. And if your ideas are the least bit controversial, it really is that difficult to get people to pay attention.* The relationships between the female scientists in this film are authentic, too. There is...

Proof That Even Brilliant Scientists Are Occasionally Boneheads

Hey, scientists are people, too. They’re just as vulnerable to bias and brain farts as the next guy or gal. But sometimes the boneheadery is so profound you really kind of wonder how they manage to tie their shoes in the morning. Case in point, Tim Hunt. Tim Hunt is a Nobel Prize winning biochemist. Who proclaimed to a room full of female science journalists that science labs should be segregated because: Three things happen when they are in the lab: You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry. Let’s put this statement...