The issues for Women in Science: are they silly or real?

I know I haven’t written an article in a long time, but due to an interesting discussion last night I thought I post this blog article about Matt Taylor, the amazing scientist who landed the Rosetta mission (European Space Agency)’s Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, which was the first spacecraft to land on a comet nucleus. And, here’s his quote that annoys the shit out of me “”The people I work with don’t judge me by my looks but only by the work I have done and can do. Simple.” Brodwin notes with irony: “If only women could hope to someday be judged that way too.””…. He’s also famous for wearing this shirt (hopefully you can see the pinups on it):


While I don’t really mind the shirt, I do mind it in a professional setting with news broadcasters.  It gives the impression that this very successful scientist has limited respect for woman’s input in a professional setting.

Since wearing the shirt he has given a hopefully sincere public apology…

However, the problem is, we should of course let him discuss his great science but science should not be presented in a setting where woman are objectified. I do hope he sincerely is sorry. I’d like to point out a case of a nobel laureate, May Britt-Moser, where they applauded her on her dress and forgot to discuss the science that won her the award. Dr. Matt Taylor is just one (albeit childish and silly) example of the vast problem that affects woman in science that should be at least acknowledged.

If you are interested in how Dr. May Britt-Moser won the Nobel, check out this page.

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2 Responses to “The issues for Women in Science: are they silly or real?”

  1. matt Says:

    How can you mention May-Britt’s dress in the same paragraph as Matt Taylor’s shirt?

    1, The dress is her work, maybe you haven’t seen it but it shows neurons on a grid.
    2, It adds to the celebration of an amazing woman.
    3, It provides wider reaching publicity for an amazing role model to members of society who would not normally take notice of the Prize awards (or who won them).
    4, Maybe rather than a quick re-directing to the nobel page you would actually do something to ‘applaud her’ other than just moaning and write a piece about Prof Moser and her work to show what an incredible scientist/role model/woman she is? Try some googling and you will find some amazing material.

  2. radioloveless Says:

    Hey Matt. Thanks for the angry and pointed reply? I did see the neurons and I do think its lovely that she designed it, and everything she did was perfect. I’m more upset about the reporters and journalists that highlighted it. For instance, I study cells and could wear cells on my clothes but how does that tell you what my major discoveries are? I for one, being a female and a scientist, loved her dress and loved the fact that she designed it. BUT, I think the first thing that should have been reported about her was her work, not her outfit. I think the reporting on her dress correlates annoyingly with Matt’s quote that “People only judge me by the work I can do”. While the first thing reporters noticed with Moser was how beautiful her dress was. The point I want to make is, can’t we put her specific discoveries in the foreground and use her dress to highlight what she has done? Not the other way around?

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