18 July 2010

Sexy scientists?


Hmmmm. The devilishly clever (and I'm told somewhat sexy if you like that sort of thing) Luke Muelhausen from Common Sense Atheism has got himself into a spot of hot water after posting a list of "sexy scientists". The accusation is that he is being sexist (they're all girls, except for the triceratops at the end, draping itself voluptuously under the great PZ Myers), but *worse*, it would appear that not all the subjects could really be described as *scientists*. Whether one finds them sexy or not, I suppose, is a matter of taste. If we're trying to get the young generation to admire scientists who triumph over the odds to become leaders in their fields - and, let's face it, there would seem to be a glass ceiling in science - should we not be vaunting other attributes than their "sexiness"?

I'm torn. Sexy is great, but particularly for women in science, I think we should be celebrating excellent brain work, drive, determination etc.

But then in highlighting the sexy aspect, perhaps this throws an ironic light on the whole thing, thereby enhancing the profile of women who really have made a significant difference in science. And anyway, what's wrong with a bit of fun?

Irony is good too.

[Also check out Tiny Flame's view on the subject...]

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