— Bora Zivkovic (@BoraZ) October 14, 2013
This just in…
A Message from Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief
Scientific American bloggers lie at the heart of the SA website, pumping vitality, experience and broad insight around the community. Unfortunately our poor communication with this valuable part of the SA network over the recent days has led to concerns, misunderstandings and ill feelings, and we are committed to working to try to put this right as best we can.
We know that there are real and important issues regarding the treatment of women in science and women of color in science, both historically and currently, and are dismayed at the far too frequent cases in which women face prejudice and suffer inappropriate treatment as they strive for equality and respect. We recently removed a blog post by Dr. Danielle Lee that alleged a personal experience of this nature….
Key points: “Unfortunately, we could not quickly verify the facts of the blog post and consequently for legal reasons we had to remove the post….In removing the post, we were in no way commenting upon the substance of the post, but reflecting that the underlying facts were not confirmed.”
I have a problem with this because it seems to say that DN Lee was not being trusted as truthful. But, lawyers will be lawyers, I suppose. But still, it feels a bit icky.
“Biology-Online is neither a part of Scientific American, nor a “content partner.” We are investigating what links we currently have with Biology-Online. ”
This does not surprise me, as the links seemed rather tenuous to begin with. Good to hear, though, even aside from the present maneno. Biology-Online seems a bit questionable.
“Juggling holiday-weekend commitments with family, lack of signal and a dying phone, alongside the challenges of reaching colleagues over a holiday weekend, I attempted to at least address initial social-media queries about the matter with a tweet yesterday: “Re blog inquiry: @sciam is a publication for discovering science. The post was not appropriate for this area & was therefore removed.” I acknowledge that microblogs are not the ideal medium for such an important explanation to our audiences and regret the delay in providing a fuller response. My brief attempt to clarify, posted with the belief that “saying something is better than saying nothing,” clearly had the opposite effect. With 20/20 hindsight, I wish I had simply promised a fuller reply when I was able to be better connected and more thorough.”
(Emphasis added wherever you see it, by the way)
Yes, I agree with the final statement here. That was a goof.
“…we intend to discuss how we can better investigate and publicize such problems in general and search for solutions with Dr. Lee and with the wider scientific community. With the help of Dr. Lee as an author, Scientific American plans to provide a thoroughly reported feature article about the current issues facing women in science and the related research in the coming weeks.”
Mariette does not seem to say if Danielle’s post is back up. BRB…
No, I don’t see it.
Well, this is a start, anyway. Hopefully with this post the conversation will shift to where DN Lee has said she’d like it to shift, towards the underlying problem. This post is a bit unsatisfying but it does explain some things. I think it would be a really good idea for Scientific American Blogs to re-post DN Lee’s post as a matter of faith and good will.
I look forward to seeing a long and thoughtful post on all of this by Bora!