Posts Tagged Science

‘Ambiguous sex or ambivalent society?’

Alice Domurat Dreger is a Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, but more than that, she is an advocate operating at the cutting edge of sex and gender. In fact, she’s sort of the smart person in the position of telling other smart people just how little we actually know about sex, nature, nurture, and the like. Read her latest piece on the biochemical policing in women’s sports and check out her fascinating TED Talk.

Alice Domurat Dreger is a Professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, but more than that, she is an advocate operating at the cutting edge of sex and gender. ...

Zombie Marie Curie speaks the truth

Last Friday, I dedicated at Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah to women in science, and from the looks of the comments section and my email inbox, we have a fair few scientists in the Feministing community. It was great to see so many of you sharing stories and advice about how to survive and thrive as a woman in a male-dominated field. XKCD has some advice about that, too. Well, XKCD and Zombie Marie Curie:

This cartoon is so spot on, and not just because Radium is in fact deadly. When there are so few women in a field, the pressure to be great is immense, not only because you feel the need to defy stereotypes about your gender’s inferiority, ...

Last Friday, I dedicated at Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah to women in science, and from the looks of the comments section and my email inbox, we have a fair few scientists in the Feministing community. It ...

Friday Feminist Fuck Yeah: Women in Science

Courtesy of Sociological Images, here’s a graph showing the gender of people being awarded PhDs, department by department. As you can see, women are wildly underrepresented in physics, computer sciences and engineering. We already knew this, of course – women are underrepresented at all levels of the “hard” sciences – but when you see it represented in graph form, it’s pretty stark.

I mentioned earlier this week that I spent the weekend at Princeton, listening to distinguished alumni talk about a number of issues, mostly about their career paths and their efforts to balance their work lives and their personal lives. In a discussion of work-life balance led by New York Times writer Lisa Belkin, class of 1982, a ...

Courtesy of Sociological Images, here’s a graph showing the gender of people being awarded PhDs, department by department. As you can see, women are wildly underrepresented in physics, computer sciences and engineering. We already knew this, ...

Feminism, once again, blamed for, well, everything

[Ed note: Lori and Courtney don't like to take on pop-psychology by themselves. It gives them the heeby jeebies, and runs a high risk of inducing anger and/or exasperation. So they decided to team up to debunk this faulty logic. The result is the below post. Enjoy.]

Courtney: While blatantly hocking his new book, Dr. Ogi Ogas (ah, yes, also famed game show contestant and Homeland Security consultant), offers a highly original and nuanced argument: feminism is ruining our love lives. We’ve never heard that before.

In any case, Ogi (I have to use his first name because it’s just too much fun), is arguing that women and men are both ...

[Ed note: Lori and Courtney don't like to take on pop-psychology by themselves. It gives them the heeby jeebies, and runs a high risk of inducing anger and/or exasperation. So they decided to team up ...

Quick hit: Carl Sagan on why excluding women is a bad idea

From Letters of Note comes this missive on why excluding women from scientific organizations benefits no one, written by scientist Carl Sagan in 1981. Sagan was a member of The Explorers Club, an international society devoted to scientific exploration. Founded in 1904, the club still had not begun admitting women by the 1980s. Sagan penned a letter to the membership arguing that excluding women was not in the club’s interest, even if it was a tradition:

When our organization was formed in 1905, men were preventing women from voting and from pursuing many occupations for which they are clearly suited. In the popular mind, exploration was not what women did. Even so, women had played a significant but unheralded role ...

From Letters of Note comes this missive on why excluding women from scientific organizations benefits no one, written by scientist Carl Sagan in 1981. Sagan was a member of The Explorers Club, an international society devoted ...

Birth control not really causing gender dysphoria in fish

You may have been told your birth control pills are leading to high levels of estrogen pollution in our water supply. The American Life League has built a campaign to stop women from taking birth control by arguing that it has detrimental environmental impacts. The campaign plays to fears about the decline of masculinity, except this time we’re talking about unacceptably feminine fish.

According to a study from UC San Francisco, only a small fraction (less than 1%) of estrogen pollution is actually caused by birth control pills. Our farming system is a much much bigger culprit. But of course we jump to blame women taking care of their own reproductive health instead of a huge industry.

Estrogen pollution ...

You may have been told your birth control pills are leading to high levels of estrogen pollution in our water supply. The American Life League has built a campaign to stop women from taking birth control ...

HIV-reducing vaginal microbicide stalled without funding

It’s one thing when we don’t know how to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, like HIV and AIDS infection rates. It’s another when we actually have a realistic solution (or one of many), and we simply can’t figure out how to allocate resources to fund it. Reading that money is the only thing standing between women all over the world and a new vaginal microbicide that significantly reduces HIV infection made me so frickin’ angry. Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times piece this weekend:

Donors have not committed enough money for even one of the two studies needed to confirm a promising South African trial of the microbicide and get it into women’s hands. Only ...

It’s one thing when we don’t know how to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems, like HIV and AIDS infection rates. It’s another when we actually have a realistic solution (or one of many), and ...

Not Oprah’s Book Club: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Pic via the Grio

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that Rebecca Skloot’s amazing book, The Immoral Life of Henrietta Lacks, is on the bestsellers list, and has been for weeks. In it, Skloot gives us one of the most captivating and in-depth investigations into the intersections of race, science, and health that has ever been written.

Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer, came down with a nasty case of cervical cancer in the early 50s. As she was getting treated at the “colored” ward at John Hopkins, the doctor took a sample from her cervix without her consent–as was the practice at the time. That one little sample would prove to ...

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