I talk a lot on here about making science more available (and interesting!) to the public. And I’ve posted previously about “sexy scientists” before. So you might think I’d be all for an effort to combine the two–but is this really necessary?

Ugh.

(Via new Scienceblog, Pure Pedantry.)

Comments

  1. #1 Jess
    June 10, 2006

    Damn straight it is… I drove myself crazy trying to look for an illustration for my sexy scientists post, and those would have been perfect!

    Actually, I’ve always been pretty impressed with the fact that Mythbusters has declined to capitalize on the obvious fact that Kari is smokin’ hot. I’m sure it contributes to a lot of fans’ reasons for watching the show, but they haven’t snuck in a bikini myth or anything. So this is a little disappointing.

  2. #2 Dave Munger
    June 10, 2006

    Not that I’m paying attention or anything, but I believe there was an episode where she appeared in a bikini.

    …sigh… the price of doing science, apparently.

  3. #3 MiddleO'Nowhere
    June 10, 2006

    They’re equal opportunity though. The episode with Kari was the myth about the paint on the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, but they also did the Goldfinger gold paint myth with Jamie in some gold lame shorts.

  4. #4 Abel Pharmboy
    June 10, 2006

    So, Tara, I was looking to help you out with I recalled was the ‘recent’ Studmuffins of Science calendar by Karen Hopkin, former NPR Science Friday producer and Knight science journalism fellow (scroll down on link), but the operation apparently folded in 1997.

  5. #5 Merv the Perv
    June 10, 2006

    Why don’t you do your part Tara and do something with that picture? Like lose the shirt?

  6. #6 Aaron F.
    June 10, 2006

    On the other hand, it’s impossible not to love the glowing pickle!

  7. #7 DDS
    June 10, 2006

    Sounds like a new take on the “repressed librarian” fantasy.

    D

  8. #8 Mark
    June 10, 2006

    Kari is one of those girls who is kind of good looking but has a tremendious desire for attention so she hangs out with really nerdy guys who think she is really good looking so she can bathe in the light of their skewed perspective.

  9. #9 DDS
    June 10, 2006

    Hmmm. From the 2 episodes of mythbusters that I have seen that include Kari I would say that she is a fairly bright young women. Assuming of course that the show gives an honest portrayal of her smarts.

    Mark said. “but has a tremendious desire for attention so she hangs out with really nerdy guys who think she is really good looking so she can bathe in the light of their skewed perspective.”

    On what do you base your comment Mark?

    D

  10. #10 Benjamin McKenzie
    June 10, 2006

    I have a thing for Kari, so I’m kind of torn. It makes it all a little easier to know she’s no scientist; she’s actually a visual artist, experienced with industrial art (and so perfect for the Mythbusters build team).

  11. #11 Mark
    June 11, 2006

    On what do you base your comment Mark?

    It just reminded me of an article in the onion:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30564

    and because a lot of people seem to have a strange obsession with her. I guess that’s not really her fault, but I do think she’s kind of annoying and that time she shocked Adam with the electric fence thing seemed like a really immature thing to do.

  12. #12 salve
    June 11, 2006

    It’s Kari’s body. It’s up to her to make the decisions. That said, I’m disappointed. Is this the only way for bright, science-orientated women to get some attention?

    I don’t know whether it was the money or maybe she wanted to get ogled at.

  13. #13 Kristjan Wager
    June 11, 2006

    It’s her choice, but I find it a bit weird that she wants to do that.

    I love myth busters in general, but they are not really scientists though – quite often their myth-busting are less than scientific. That’s not the purpose of the show though, and they have done some really impressive stuff.

  14. #14 David Harmon
    June 11, 2006

    “is this the only way for bright, science-orientated women to get some attention?”

    So let’s see, she’s already starring in a popular national TV show, and apparently an artist on her own… so according to Salve and Mark, the *only* reason she might do this is to “get attention”…. Riiight. And Benjamin comes up with

    “It makes it all a little easier to know she’s no scientist…”

    As if her being a scientist would ipso facto make it inappropriate! Just where, outside of stereotype, does it say “scientists may not exercise or display their sexuality”?

    And yes, Tara, after plugging all those mostly-male “sexy scientists”, you ought to think carefully about your own reaction to this. I don’t even find this type of magazine appealing (at least not enough to spend money on), but I see absolutely no problem here.
    Given the educational situation here in America, I’d say that publicizing science warrants some creative, even “unfair”, tactics!

  15. #15 Ruth
    June 12, 2006

    I have had enough chemical spills to know that outfit is unwise for a real science person. I didn’t think about sexism as much as conc. HCl on bare legs-
    Playing ‘doctor’ would be a safer fantasy.

  16. #16 Tara C. Smith
    June 12, 2006

    And yes, Tara, after plugging all those mostly-male “sexy scientists”, you ought to think carefully about your own reaction to this. I don’t even find this type of magazine appealing (at least not enough to spend money on), but I see absolutely no problem here.

    Actually, I followed up that post with one on women who were “hot” for a lot more than their bodies. And I don’t recall any of the guy ones who had their shirts off.

    I don’t think scientists should necessarily have to check their sexuality at the door or anything. When I was an undergrad, my organic chem professor, Alanna Schepartz, taught class in miniskirts and knee-high boots. She also happens to be the first female full professor in any Yale physical science department. What turns me off about the link in the OP is, like I said, taking it a bit too far (IMO, of course). I’m not all that familiar with Mythbusters–I’ve seen it a few times but I don’t regularly watch it. But when you need to have a push-up bra on to sell science to guys…that’s just a bit depressing to me. It’s absolutely her right to do so, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  17. #17 Jim Lippard
    June 12, 2006

    “From the 2 episodes of mythbusters that I have seen that include Kari I would say that she is a fairly bright young women. Assuming of course that the show gives an honest portrayal of her smarts.”

    She was at the Skeptics Society conference at Caltech a couple weeks ago, as a speaker along with MythBusters producer Peter Rees. She seemed to be reasonably intelligent and well-spoken.

    (BTW, I attempted to login with TypeKey here, was told the site requested my email address, gave my approval, then got an error message saying that the site has not implemented the feature.)

  18. #18 David Harmon
    June 14, 2006

    Fair enough, Tara — but the magazine photos aren’t the only, or even first, thing she’s done to “sell science”. Do you think that her magazine appearance somehow detracts from her prior work, on a show that famously flaunts blasts instead of breasts? Either way, the point is to get them interested first….

  19. #19 Lee
    June 16, 2006

    I, too, thought those photos were over the top. But, I had never seen MythBusters, until you provided me with this link. I have to admit that the show is fun. I wouldn’t want to see the actors in swim suits on the show.

    Then again, isn’t sex appeal what sells TV. It’s like that Food Channel personality, Rachel Ray. If she wasn’t attractive, her show wouldn’t be on the air.

    Almost all TV personalities, male and female, are chosen because they look good on a flat screen. Okay, there are exceptions (e.g., CNN’s Larry King), but….

Current ye@r *