Equality

Pharyngula

Category archives for Equality

Happy Darwin Day!

I thought I’d include a picture of the young Charles Darwin, since we are celebrating his birthday today. That’s him in 1816, when he was 6 or 7 years old, with his younger sister, Emily Catherine Darwin. And then I started wondering about that other person in the picture. Darwin’s sisters were an extremely important…

In science, there’s data, and there’s interpretation. It’s really easy to collect data (usually), but interpretation is the hard part — it requires an understanding of context and theory, and an appreciation of the real complexity of the problem. It’s tempting to simplify all your models — the spherical cow problem — but you also…

Wow. Talk about major failure. A new study out correlates levels of Foxp2 with levels of vocalization in rats: basically, male rats squeak more than female pups when they’re stressed by separation from their mothers, and mothers tend to rescue the rat who squeaks the loudest. They then found higher levels of Foxp2 in males,…

Need more paleontological women

The latest issue of Priscum, the newsletter of the Paleontological Society (pdf), has an interesting focus: where are the women in paleontology? They have a problem, in that only 23% of their membership are women, and I hate to say it, but the stereotype of a paleontologist is Roy Chapman Andrews — most people don’t…

The ducks are gonna get you

Some poor young girl, deeply miseducated and misled, wrote into a newspaper with a letter trying to denounce homosexuality with a bad historical and biological argument. She’s only 14, and her brain has already been poisoned by the cranks and liars in her own family…it’s very sad. Here’s the letter — I will say, it’s…

Not just Sally Ride

I had never heard of the Women in Space Program before, but apparently, after the Soviets sent Valentina Tereshkova into space, there was actually an effort to train American women as astronauts. The participants of the Women in Space Program experienced tremendous success. “Nineteen women enrolled in WISP, undergoing the same grueling tests administered to…

You’ve probably heard this story many times before: there’s some kind of glass ceiling in the world of science and math that hinders women’s ability to progress. The latest data confirms that something is going wrong. The United States ranks 31st on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index and is tied for 21st on…

Gals and show mares

This video has been going around — it’s a group of women talking about the importance of evolution to the biological sciences. I confess to cringing in a few places — there’s too much ready equation of evolution with natural selection — but I certainly wouldn’t question the competence of these accomplished scientists, even if…

Why are boys and men underperforming?

In this TED video, Philip Zimbardo talks about an ongoing concern, the opting out of boys from academically and socially — boys are more likely to drop out of school, girls outperform boys at all academic levels, boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADD. The difference also leads to many man-boys…

And now for something completely different

Or is it? I’ve just been introduced to the work of Tim Wise, and it’s fabulous stuff: all about how we view race through the distorting lenses of denial and privilege and class. He’s a terrific speaker, I guarantee you that it’s worth your time to take an hour and listen to this lecture. Oh,…