All entries by this author

What’s next? Donating the proceeds from sale of his unicorn?

Jul 1st, 2015 5:20 pm | By

A blistering explanation of what’s sexist about the backlash against the response to Tim Hunt’s day out by medical doctor Amy Tuteur.

Tim Hunt made offensive comments about women scientists in front of a group of women scientists. He apologized and he resigned.

Many men feel very bad about this.

No, not bad about the fact that Hunt felt free to humiliate women at a meeting designed to honor them. Be serious! They felt bad that any male scientist should be held to account for his not so subtle put down.

Maybe they wouldn’t mind it so much if he were a young bench scientist – but Tim Hunt is senior and important. Senior important guys shouldn’t be held … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Just like treat her like you don’t even like her

Jul 1st, 2015 11:13 am | By

Frontline did a show on trans children and adolescents yesterday.

One was Alex Singh.

As he and his family navigate this new landscape, Alex also been forced to grapple with fundamental questions about gender and identity — beyond a beard or an Adam’s apple, for example, what does it take to be a guy?

“I always like see these really cool guys and I’m always like, I want to be like them,” says Alex. “Morgan and Ben were those like cool guys that I wanted to be like. Once I really realized that they were perfectly fine with me being transgender, it was like a whole new world for me.”

In the show you see the three of them … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Church fires

Jul 1st, 2015 10:02 am | By

An AME church burned to the ground last night in Greeleyville, South Carolina. It was burned down once before, twenty years ago. An anonymous fed told reporters the preliminary indications are not arson.

The predominantly African American congregation is more than 100 years old. Their church building had previously been burned to the ground in June 1995, almost exactly 20 years before Tuesday’s blaze.

Two young white men with ties to the Ku Klux Klan were arrested in connection with the fire, according to documents from House Judiciary Committee hearings held in 1996. The men were members of the KKK during the time of the burnings, but since renounced their membership, their lawyer said.

Arrested but not tried or convicted? … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Quite the rabbit hole

Jul 1st, 2015 9:20 am | By

Phil Plait says ALL the things.

He starts with Tim Hunt’s day out.

He made a series of sexist comments, saying that the problem with “girls” in science is that they fall in love with the men, the men fall in love with them, and when you confront them they cry. He then went on to suggest labs should be single-sex.

He thought at first it was a very bad joke, but found there’s more to it than that.

Many science journalists were at the lunch and witnessed the whole thing, including Deborah Blum, Ivan Oransky, Charles Seife, and Connie St. Louis. After discussing what they saw and heard, they decided St. Louis should write an article about it

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Thankfully former

Jul 1st, 2015 8:22 am | By

Tim Fenton at the blog Zelo Street has, like me, been watching the obsessive bullying by Louise Mensch of anyone who reported on Tim Hunt’s crappy sexist “jokes” at that fateful lunch in Seoul.

[A]s the first paper to indulge in whataboutery over Hunt’s comments was the Murdoch Times, it should surprise no-one that (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch has gone off on one about the story – and is still at it, two and a half weeks later. “He said it in a very lighthearted manner with no outward hint of malice, condescension, or derision” she claims of Hunt’s remarks, omitting that this was someone’s opinion, delivered after the event.

He shares a lot of … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



If a highly respected and liked Nobel Laureate can say it

Jun 30th, 2015 5:27 pm | By

Something Hilda Bastian said in a comment on Dorothy Bishop’s post on the media spin of Tim Hunt’s day out.

The differences here do not seem to be so much “what” was said, but whether or not it was meant to be “self-deprecating.” And that is rather beside the point. The statements included some extraordinarily hurtful stereotypes about a gender, and about one gender in the scientific workplace. That sends a message, if a highly respected and liked Nobel Laureate can say it, then there’s something ok with it. The outpouring of both sexist, misogynist, and now racist statements across the comment streams of newspapers and the internet generally, with people clearly thinking they have some kind of common cause

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



“Bigoted is a huge word that gets thrown around”

Jun 30th, 2015 3:38 pm | By

Have the sick-basin handy for this one.

You’re not alone. [voice choked with tears] You’re not alone.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6PPk2NOQXsRead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Call him a cynic

Jun 30th, 2015 3:28 pm | By

One of those think-pieces that just don’t need to be written…by Charles White, Deputy Editor of The Tab Durham.

Last week saw a landmark moment as LGBT and straight people celebrated equal marriage in America and another year of Pride –– just by changing profile pictures on Facebook.

You must have seen the rainbow photos which started appearing on your newsfeed from Saturday. If you’re straight you can add the colours to your profile and everyone will know you’re down with Pride.

Call me a cynic, but how long do you really think these pictures will stay up? In a few days, they’re bound to disappear –– one by one, Rainbow filters will be replaced by Instagram Valencia

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Illustrious company

Jun 30th, 2015 11:44 am | By

Even someone who writes for the Telegraph thinks it’s bad and revealing that people are saying Tim Hunt did nothing wrong. Cathy Newman is a presenter for Channel 4 News and she thinks the “nothing wrong” claim is full of wrong.

[A] week after the pro-Hunt bandwagon really started to gather speed, broadcaster and writer Jonathan Dimbleby has leapt aboard and resigned his honorary fellowship at University College London in protest at its treatment of the Nobel prize-winning scientist.

He’s in illustrious company. The mayor of London Boris Johnson and fellow scientist Richard Dawkins have already publicly accused Sir Tim’s critics of a gross over-reaction.

So have Brian Cox and Brendan O’Neill.

Notice something? They’re all pale men – they’re … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Patients can be tricked into feeling better when they’re actually not

Jun 30th, 2015 10:18 am | By

Originally a comment by latsot on Ask the rocks.

The placebo effect is real, no disputing that. It’s weird, it’s complicated and it’s wonderful. There’s no doubt that it’s helpful, sometimes.

But let’s be clear, it ain’t gonna cure your broken leg, your cancer or even that ache in your knee that everyone older than 40 gets on a Monday morning that makes them think about phoning in sick. That might just be me.

And let’s be doubly clear: many if not most of the advocates of things that are really placebos are trying to persuade vulnerable people that whatever horrible thing they are desperate to have cured can be cured by snakewater. Lots of people die because of … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Jonathan Dimbleby

Jun 30th, 2015 9:14 am | By

Energizer bunny still going.

Jonathan Dimbleby has resigned from his honorary fellowship at University College London in protest at its treatment of biologist Sir Tim Hunt after he made controversial remarks about women in science.

The broadcaster and writer accused the college of a “disgraceful” rush to judgment in forcing the Nobel prize-winning scientist to quit his honorary fellowship at UCL and urged other fellows to help change the college’s mind.

Dimbleby said: “The college has a long and honourable tradition of defending free speech, however objectionable it may be. Sir Tim made a very poor joke and it quite rightly backfired. He then apologised for that,” he told the Times.

The principle of free speech does not mean … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



From an infinite supply

Jun 29th, 2015 4:53 pm | By

Emily Willingham on those misappropriated metaphors for being sharply criticized:

How many Nobel laureates does it take to screw up a position? By my current count, nine. I’m sure someone, somewhere, has already observed the rich irony of using the collective privilege and power of the Nobel to try to shut up the less-powerful by claiming that they’re going to chill freedom of expression. If not, consider that observed.

The Tim Hunt story is redux redux, as though every time a stone is shifted from the power structure, another one simply takes its place from an infinite supply of the components of existing power.

Well – there’s a sentence I wish I’d written.

Just as nine Nobel laureates are

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The World Future Forum is the big annual event of the Secular Policy Institute

Jun 29th, 2015 4:03 pm | By

Edwina Rogers is emailing people to get them worked up about a thing they can go to. (Tim Hunt will be there, doing standup.) (I kid, I kid.)

Hi [your name here]

You’re invited to the most VIP political gathering in secular history.
The World Future Forum comes October 25-26 to DC.
It’s run by the Secular Policy Institute, the world’s biggest secular coalition and world’s biggest secular think tank.
Network with members of US Congress, big donors, international secular leaders, and top thinkers like emcee Lawrence Krauss, bestselling author and physicist, and keynote Gregory Copley, former US National Security Advisor.
Tickets will sell out quickly! Get yours at https://secularpolicyinstitute.net/world-future-forum-2015/.
-Edwina

It’s the world’s biggest biggest biggest biggest biggest. Go … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Ask the rocks

Jun 29th, 2015 3:16 pm | By

Let’s have some refreshment – wisdom from a witch.

[screams, cries of “witch hunt! witch hunt!”]

No no no no, not that kind, and not the kind who object to sexism; the other kind.

While a big part of magic is claiming the parts of ourselves that are powerful, for me it’s also about discovering a solid set of tools to heal myself and my community. So however you identify on the witchy spectrum, here are five simple witchy practices that anyone can do to take care of themselves, and that most of us should be doing more often.

Eye of newt, toe of frog? No, casting circles of protection.

Each and every one of us has the right

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Piled higher and deeper

Jun 29th, 2015 12:16 pm | By

Louise Mensch (the Sun columnist and failed Tory MP) has been harassing people on Twitter for hours with grandiose claims about a story about to appear that would PROVE Tim Hunt really was joking. She tweeted this implausible promise at Deborah Blum and Connie St Louis and David Colquhoun among others – addressing DC as ‘Professor’ [in scare quotes], which is staggeringly rude even for the staggeringly rude Louise Mensch. She told all these people they would have to resign once the story appeared.

Then the promised story appeared. It’s in the Sun, and it’s ludicrous.

The headline and subhead:

‘Sexist’ Sir Tim WAS joking, photo shows
Picture could prove top scientist was wrongly hounded out of his job

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Worries about if she can manage well

Jun 29th, 2015 11:10 am | By

Sexism? What sexism?

Via Twitter:

Daniel Singleton ‏@dasingleton Jun 6
Reviewer to my daughter-in-law: You have kids, give up on silly pursuit of science. #fuckthissexistshit

Strong point
-The stay will significantly benefit both the candidate and the host unit.

Weak point
-Worries about if she can manage well between the work and the family.

I don’t see any sexism, do you see any sexism??… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Just that little drop

Jun 29th, 2015 9:50 am | By

Uta Frith FRS has an excellent, hope-restoring article on the Royal Society’s science policy blog In Verba.

Little did I know that, having just started as chair of our new Diversity Committee, that gender bias would suddenly come into the spotlight of public opinion. This followed the unacceptable remarks at a public event attributed to one of our most distinguished Fellows. Sir Tim Hunt was baffled by the effect of his words on others, and I admit that I too was baffled, but for very different reasons.

His remarks at first seemed to me just a drop in the bucket of millions of similar ones made every day about women in the workplace, often by decent men who

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



This unfortunate incident must not be portrayed as a private story told as a joke

Jun 28th, 2015 5:38 pm | By

Also of interest, the letter that the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations sent to Tim Hunt asking him to apologize for being so obnoxious at the lunch they hosted.

Dear Sir Tim Hunt,
We, the members of the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and
Technology Associations (KOFWST), the sponsoring organization of the WCSJ
luncheon on June 8, 2015, decided to request your official acknowledgement
and apology for the remarks made at the luncheon. Attached, please find,
our call for apology. We hope to get your response within 24 hours. Your
prompt and sincere apology is the least we can ask for any future
collaboration with Korean scientists.
Yours sincerely,
Hee Young Paik, President

KOFWST call for apology

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Harvard must be slipping

Jun 28th, 2015 5:18 pm | By

There’s a conservative blog called Legal Insurrection. I’d vaguely heard of it before, but that’s all. I saw that it had a post about Connie St Louis, so I took a look. I read the first few sentences, and was amazed. I skipped down to the comments and was amazed more. I googled Legal Insurrection and found the handy Wikipedia digest in the left margin:

William A. Jacobson
Professor
William A. Jacobson is an American lawyer, professor, and conservative blogger. Jacobson is a 1981 graduate of Hamilton College and a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School.
Education: Hamilton College, Harvard Law School

Oh yes? Well then you would think he would be able to get the most basic factsRead the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Freedom lost

Jun 28th, 2015 4:57 pm | By

Tarek Fatah tweeted the other day:

Tarek Fatah ‏@TarekFatah Jun 25
Hijabi female students at Cairo University reflects the rise of Islamism.

1959: None
1978: None
1995: 35%
2004: 90%

Depressing.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)