I wonder why women find themselves discouraged from pursuing science careers?

In case you hadn't heard yet, Science magazine is making a play to reach the supermarket checkout aisle and tabloid market, with exciting new covers featuring sexy womanly body parts and leaving out pointless details like their faces.


I don't know, they could have taken it a step further and featured dramatically posed dead sexy women.

It should be obvious that this photo is problematic. Seelix has a good summary of the concerns. The via Science Editor-in-Chief has apologized, strangely, on a blog that apparently was set up for just this purpose that contains only one post, the apology.

The cover showing transgender sex workers in Jarkarta was selected after much discussion by a large group and was not intended to offend anyone, but rather to highlight the fact that there are solutions for the AIDS crisis for this forgotten but at-risk group.

I have one question: how does a photo of the bodies of women "highlight the fact that there are solutions"? So, if they publish an article on elements of the JAK/STAT signaling pathway, will they splash of photo of George Clooney on the cover to hightlight the fact that he carries genes of this pathway?

None of this makes sense. But then the @SciCareerEditor piped up on twitter, and it all became clear: the management at Science includes many oblivious jerks.


Weird. So the @SciCareerEditor thinks transgender women don't have problems with objectification? What planet is he from?

He might want to read this personal account of a transgender woman in science. It seems to me that assuming it's OK to focus on the sexual attractiveness of women in a study is a good part of the problem.

Especially when they see it as a joke.


Oh. Ha ha, they'll sure be shocked when they find out that chick has a penis! So, it was some kind of gotcha cover?

But he was able to top that.


Oh, man, he should have followed through with how much he hates drama-blogging, and they only do it for the hits. The only thing becoming boring is how repetitive privileged people can be, always making the same tired excuses for belittling other people's problems.

I do wish the people who express disinterest in the moral concerns of others would carry through and say what they really think: that in this case the plight of transgender sex workers is unimportant to them. Or that they think abuse of women is simply an unimportant problem. Or that if it's not about rich white men, it's not a problem that warrants moral indignation.


More like this

"Am I the only one who finds moral indignation really boring?"

Am I the only one who find moral idiocy boring?

Speaking of which, here is something coming home to roost:

"Behe isn't just a crackpot who thinks he has a novel explanation for an evolutionary mechanism -- he's a radical anti-evolutionist extremist who rejects the entire notion of the transformation of species by natural processes. ... Most of the arguments are gussied up versions of the kind of handwaving, ignorant rationalizations you'd get from some pomaded fundagelical Baptist minister who got all his biology from the Bible, not at all what you'd expect from a tenured professor of biochemistry at a good university -- throwing in an occasional technical gloss or mangled anecdote from the literature is only a gloss to fool the rubes."

Myers is a person who needs to be introduced to the idea of personal integrity and intellectual dispassion and impartiality, not to mention simple decency:


As it turns out:

A minimum of two mutations sufficed for (low) CQ transport activity, and as few as four conferred full activity. ... The findings presented here reveal that the minimum requirement for (low) CQ transport activity in both the ET and TD lineages of CQR PfCRT is two mutations.

[Summers et al., "Diverse mutational pathways converge on saturable chloroquine transport via the malaria parasite's chloroquine resistance transporter," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Vol. 111: E1759-E1767 (April 29, 2014)]

What Myers and the rest of his ilk overlooked was that Behe's inference while correct, was never part of the argument.

The argument was based on data which found that chloroquine resistance arose in about 1 in every 1020 organisms: Nicholas White, "Antimalarial Drug Resistance," Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 113: 1084-1092 (2004). The mutations that caused chloroquine resistance were termed a "chloroquine complexity cluster" or CCC. Independently of the molecular mechanisms behind a CCC, empirical data showed that 10^20 cells are required in order to produce one. Behe pointed out that if a trait required the molecular equivalent of two CCC's before providing any advantage, then that would pose major problems for Darwinian evolution, seeing that 10^40 is the number of all the organisms that have ever lived on earth.

So how's this for "moral indignation": has even one "scientist" who wrote the kind of stuff Myers did had the guts, the decency, the class, the moral substance, the lack of odious, bloated egoism, of being able to apologize to Behe? No.

So much for the human quality of these intellectual and moral pygmies.