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'Princess Scientists' Stir Controversy
September 8, 2012 11:16 AM   Subscribe

“Feminine stereotypes historically have haunted women scientists, including Rosalind Franklin, a co-discoverer of DNA. In his 1968 account 'The Double Helix,' James Watson, one of the genetics pioneers who had relied on Franklin's work, unflatteringly recounted Franklin's lack of lipstick and her unwillingness to dress in a more feminine manner. But the idea of combining 'beauty and brains' may represent progress of sorts. Two decades ago, Teen Talk Barbie was telling young American girls, 'Math class is tough.' The Miss Rikei Contest stands directly opposed to that message, as does Ebbel Angle's encouragement of young girls who want to become princess scientists.” (LiveScience.com)
posted by These Birds of a Feather (79 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish the valorisation of beauty as something that could be made more inclusive would just disappear, to be honest, as it still holds out "beauty" as something to which every woman must aspire to and be judged in relation to. If it could be just dropped as a category of value (yeah, I know, fat chance) then we wouldn't have to deal with this "beauty and brains" thing; brains should be enough, and more than enough. Beauty, as it is for men, would just be a bonus, meaning little about the person who posseses it.
posted by jokeefe at 11:31 AM on September 8, 2012 [39 favorites]


It's lovely if scientists of any gender want to play with fashion and express themselves.

Having a motherfucking beauty pageant of female scientists is disgustingly retrograde.

Why do adult women aspire to being princesses instead of queens?

And how does judging women scientists as "acceptable" for wearing lipstick at all represent progress beyond judging women scientists as "unacceptable" for not wearing lipstick? From where I sit, it seems like the same exact fucking thing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:33 AM on September 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


If you want to watch Jim Watson and Maurice Wilkins talk about Franklin and her lack of femininity and how it was such an issue for them on video, check out this documentary.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:37 AM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Important distinction here. Rosalind Franklin did not "discover DNA". Neither did Watson nor Crick.

Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA, but didn't know what it did. Oswald Avery figured out that DNA was the transforming principle in pneumonia bacteria, and speculated that it is what carries genetic information. Others replicated his experiment and confirmed it in other organism.

Franklin, Watson, and Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the famous double helix. But they wouldn't have been even looking at it if it weren't for Oswald Avery.
posted by sbutler at 11:38 AM on September 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


There is something seriously wrong when in a field all about what you can think and discover, women are still fsking expected to present as femme and put in the extra hours and extra money on their appearance. The idea of a beauty pagent for female scientists makes my stomach turn; notice there aren't "Mr." contests to show that men can still be attractive if they're a scientist!
posted by Deoridhe at 11:44 AM on September 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


But the idea of combining 'beauty and brains' may represent progress of sorts.

Not really. Because if you have the brains and not the beauty, you're always docked points for the latter. Always.
posted by longdaysjourney at 11:44 AM on September 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


jokeefe : as it still holds out "beauty" as something to which every woman HUMAN must aspire to

FTFY. And to answer the implied question - Because most people prefer Bouguereau to Pollock, prefer Mozart to Cage, prefer a sunset over the mountains to a drizzly day in Dallas.


Sidhedevil : Why do adult women aspire to being princesses instead of queens?

"Queen" describes a job. Princess describes a lifestyle. I too would rather live as a prince than a king, FWIW.
posted by pla at 11:44 AM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Regarding the 'princess' thing: why do we persist with holding up parasitic aristocrats as role models for girls? I'm leaning towards blaming Disney.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:45 AM on September 8, 2012 [15 favorites]


Looks Like Science

This Is What A Scientist Looks Like
Change the perception of who and what a scientist is or isn't.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:50 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think "if you are are a scientist you will not be beautiful" is an idea we would do well to excise from the minds of young women.

I think "the appearance of scientists varies from scientist to scientist to the same degree that it does in non-scientists" would be a good thing to replace it with.

However, cumbersome abstract ideas like that don't resonate with girls and young women in our culture the same way that a project like Science Cheerleaders does. Check out Story Collider with the Science Cheerleader herself, Darlene Cavalier, which turned me around from thinking the whole thing was really sketchy to being tentatively supportive of it.

Is there a way to communicate that scientists can be fashionable and beautiful and scientists can be unfashionable and plain-looking, and either way we value them for being scientists?

I dunno, I find the Miss Reiki thing a little creepy, but I kind of come down on the side of anything, anything that gets women in large numbers into science being a good thing.
posted by BrashTech at 11:51 AM on September 8, 2012


Because most people prefer Bouguereau to Pollock, prefer Mozart to Cage, prefer a sunset over the mountains to a drizzly day in Dallas

One for three! That might be a good batting average if you were a hitter, but that's a pretty bad average if you are trying to make a point. Pollock and Cage were people who spent significant effort and skill into expanding their fields, and are loved and respected because of that.
posted by aspo at 11:52 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


But would you trust a male scientist who looked like a movie star? Or a pro athlete? Yeah, Bill Nye MUST be the Science Guy, he looks like the stereotype... if it's that bad for men, it has to be worse for women... ESPECIALLY IF EVEN MALE SCIENTISTS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEM. But then, "all men are pigs" isn't a stereotype, it's fairly accurate (speeking from 50+ years as a non-pig male... it gets pretty lonely).

And the "princess" thing is at least partly because traditionally, inheriting authority was the only way women could achieve it (see: Gina Rinehart). Still, the Disney Princesses are a step backwards, except when an artist who works for Disney gets to play with the idea.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:53 AM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Watson and Crick didn't "rely on" Franklin's work, they stole it. Her high quality images of DNA molecules were their primary inspiration for modeling the double helix. Her only failing was in not being able to demand adequate recognition for her hard work, a situation directly facilitated by Watson and Crick's condescending remarks about her femininity and the sexism of the academy at that time.

On the larger point:

I have a little girl. (Crying upstairs right now. Go to sleep, sweetheart!) I want her to grow up to be utterly fearless and relentless in choosing her path in life. I have done and will continue to do everything I can to nurture the sparks of interest she shows. No shit. I'm pricing out telescopes and science camps already. For when the time comes, you know? When she was a year old, I bought her a truck. Not the shitty pink and purple trucks for girls at the toy store, but a red and yellow dump truck. It sat, unused, until the nanny started bringing her little boy over to play. But the pink purse my colleague gave her for her first birthday? That thing is surgically attached to her shoulder. And put her in front of a pair of sunglasses and this happens. Every. Fucking. Time.

I have no dog in the nature/nurture fight. I honestly don't care. But I have seen things that are pretty darn deep in this child's psyche, and I can tell you with confidence that neither her mother nor I have much invested in raising a princess. But I'm not going to problematize that. She is who she is. And in the midst of all that vamping and primping is a curious, tenacious, confident toddler who I will do everything in my power to nurture into a scientist or scholar or mechanic or dancer. Or something totally different, if that's what she wants.

What I won't conscience, though, is a culture that tells her that the purse wearing and primping are at the core of her being. Or that wanting to be pretty is something that gives other people power over her. She can wear that purse all she wants. But I'll be damned if I don't make sure there's a multitool in there somewhere.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:55 AM on September 8, 2012 [13 favorites]


"Watson and Crick didn't "rely on" Franklin's work, they stole it. Her high quality images of DNA molecules were their primary inspiration for modeling the double helix. Her only failing was in not being able to demand adequate recognition for her hard work, a situation directly facilitated by Watson and Crick's condescending remarks about her femininity and the sexism of the academy at that time."

Maurice Wilkins stole Rosalind Franklin's work, right off of her desk while she was away in the lab doing work he wasn't talented enough to pull off, while Jim Watson waited and smiled with that shit eating grin on his face. There really isn't any way to know just how much Jim Watson told Francis Crick about Wilkin's theft and Watson's participation, but that he understood the data to be Wilkin's and freely given is more than plausible. That it wasn't likely dawned on him slowly. However, regardless, he certainly was never the kind of guy who would insult someone's femininity or lack thereof, and the only really misogynistic thing about him was his taste in friends - which was, well, Watson.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2012 [11 favorites]


What a princess scientist might look like.
posted by curious nu at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here's an example of how gender stereotypes influence actual interpretations in science.


I think it's from a previous MeFi FPP, but it's worth posting again.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:19 PM on September 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Franklin, Watson, and Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the famous double helix. But they wouldn't have been even looking at it if it weren't for Oswald Avery."

The Avery–MacLeodMcCarty experiment is taught mostly because it is a really cool experiment, and changed the minds of some holdouts, but confirmed an existing consensus in a really cool way. It was largely ignored at the time and most of the holdouts either didn't know about it, being poorly circulated, or continued to feel that protien contamination was present until the Hershey-Chase experiment finally made the question indisputable.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2012


Oh, and another interesting thing. Here's one of Franklin's actual images. It doesn't look at all what you'd expect if you have the famous double helix in mind.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:23 PM on September 8, 2012


However, cumbersome abstract ideas like that don't resonate with girls and young women in our culture the same way that a project like Science Cheerleaders does. Check out Story Collider with the Science Cheerleader herself, Darlene Cavalier, which turned me around from thinking the whole thing was really sketchy to being tentatively supportive of it.

Cognitive dissonance does a good job breaking up cultural stereotypes, although I worry about people who actually buy into these dissonances. But I suspect that this project still has a better effect than LooksLikeScience, which is probably not breaking any stereotypes with images like this or this.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:25 PM on September 8, 2012


I wish the valorisation of beauty as something that could be made more inclusive would just disappear, to be honest, as it still holds out "beauty" as something to which every woman must aspire to and be judged in relation to. If it could be just dropped as a category of value (yeah, I know, fat chance) then we wouldn't have to deal with this "beauty and brains" thing; brains should be enough, and more than enough.

Yes. Would so love "she's beautiful AND smart" to become "she's beautiful because she's smart", or creative, talented, insightful and what have you. The Yahoo article goes into this, especially from the female scientists asked about the Miss Rikei pageant. Why ought the message be "scientists can be beautiful", as opposed to "scientists are sexy as hell by virtue of them being scientists"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:26 PM on September 8, 2012


James Watson is very smart, but he's not a very decent human being, as far as it goes. Within the context of the stream of bullshit that he spews about non-scientific matters, in the long run, I wouldn't worry too much about his opinions on Franklin's appearance. Not many take his views about his valuation or denigration of others seriously, and this is more so true today than in the past, as middle and high school kids, boys and girls alike, learn about what Watson and his colleagues did to effectively steal a Nobel Prize from a fellow scientist, because she was a woman. The more he opens his mouth, the more he ruins his legacy and burnishes hers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:34 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damn, as a philosopher and semiotician I do not really fit at the Looks Like Science site, but man would I like to because here's to breaking the stereotype of a philosopher.

Or perhaps not...
posted by Pyrogenesis at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2012


"Oh, and another interesting thing. Here's one of Franklin's actual images. It doesn't look at all what you'd expect if you have the famous double helix in mind."

Here is a decent explination of X-ray crystallography of DNA, though it is important to keep in mind the author - even after all these years the prints that are recognisibly Franklin's are still being adentified as Wilkin's

Here is Watson's explination of the theft from his point of view that also goes into how it helped him after the misogyny on the train.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:42 PM on September 8, 2012


Look, I just want to do science in whatever clothes and adornments I may or may not be wearing. Just like the guy in the lab next to me. I don't want my dress, or my jeans, or my shlubby t-shirt, or heels, or flip flops, or lab coat to be a political statement. I'm tired of everything getting picked apart for its implications.

That being said, here's my "This is what a scientist looks like" submission.
posted by ChuraChura at 12:44 PM on September 8, 2012 [10 favorites]


Don't forget that Watson and Crick were probably not the most dashing, handsome, or well mannered men (this one is known). If a woman had been on record saying these things, no one would care, and rightly so. Because it isn't important. Not at all.

I think men should start a fuss every time that women complain because we don't look like Jon Hamm, or a female manager hires a better looking, more charming man than us.
posted by hellslinger at 12:57 PM on September 8, 2012


> "... middle and high school kids, boys and girls alike, learn about what Watson and his colleagues did ..."

Really? I was certainly never taught this. I only found out when I read Watson's own damn book, my jaw agape as he basically bragged about how he stole the data from someone he had decided was, since she was a woman and all, too stupid to deserve her own research.

And if kids in 90% of schools are taught anything beyond Watson-and-Crick-discovered-the-structure-of-DNA, I would be truly shocked. Science in most schools is bad enough; science history is a joke.
posted by kyrademon at 12:59 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: Not many take his views about his valuation or denigration of others seriously, and this is more so true today than in the past, as middle and high school kids, boys and girls alike, learn about what Watson and his colleagues did to effectively steal a Nobel Prize from a fellow scientist, because she was a woman.

Rosalind Franklin was already dead by the the the Nobel was awarded to Watson, Crick, and Wilkins. The Nobel isn't awarded posthumously, so she wasn't eligible, whether they wanted to include her or not.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:05 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rosalind Franklin was already dead by the the the Nobel was awarded to Watson, Crick, and Wilkins.

Dead of ovarian cancer at the age of 37, which she quite likely contracted as a consequence of long-term exposure to the x-rays she used in creating her x-ray diffraction imagery. That is to say, probably dead from doing the data gathering that Watson and Crick didn't do, but relied on in the course of doing their Nobel Prize winning science.

Obviously, this tragic state of affairs wouldn't have changed the rules of the Nobel committee, but it is worth remembering that hers was dangerous science and that she died untimely, unrecognized, and unrewarded.

For what Rosalind Franklin suffered, James Watson and his boys' club can eat a bag of testicular cancer, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:13 PM on September 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


And if kids in 90% of schools are taught anything beyond Watson-and-Crick-discovered-the-structure-of-DNA, I would be truly shocked. Science in most schools is bad enough; science history is a joke.

Depends on the school. Depends on the student. Maybe I was just lucky to go to a public school that was progressive, but I'd be surprised if Franklin's story isn't being told on a broader basis, nowadays. Everyone but Watson and the Nobel Committee seems to understand that she played a significant role.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:14 PM on September 8, 2012


also an important point is Rosalind Franklin PRESENTED this data internally to the faculty, which included watson and crick, and directly hypothesized her data suggested either a double or triple helix structure for DNA. They then stole her data and rushed their publication to beat her to the punch.

They are assholes and this should be pointed out on every occasion.
posted by slapshot57 at 1:22 PM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


The most important thing to be learned from Rosalind Franklin is that you should keep your shit locked up tight when you are not going to be around.
posted by Renoroc at 1:22 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Early in high school I was told point-blank by a well-meaning female mentor from MIT that I would never succeed in science because I was conventionally attractive and therefore would never be taken seriously. When I sought advice from other female scientists about whether or not this was reality, the same sentiment was repeated, though then it came couched with advice like, "Well, maybe if you came to interviews with your hair just in a ponytail instead of done, or you could just be makeup-free for a bit, just so they don't think you're frivolous..." One even suggested I develop a slouch so my chest wasn't so prominent.

The clincher came my senior year when I proposed a rather ambitious science fair project to my male, graduate-of-Stanford, "progressive" biotech teacher. The premise of the project was that I would design a means of assessing the progression of a congenital disease across generations by tracking the subtle drooping of family members' facial muscles using Photoshop. This would allow doctors to screen for the debilitating disorder earlier than they can now. My teacher smiled and said, "No, that's just not a good idea. It would make people uncomfortable to see a pretty girl trying to fix people with such an ugly disease." I ended up having to do a project on plants because that's all he would support me on. When another major research endeavor of mine ended up winning a bunch of awards, I was left out of interviews in favor of two of my male classmates because, again, me appearing alongside them would diminish the weight of the work, even though I was the project lead and I was the one who knew it best. It was the last research project I worked on.

I'm not really sure where I was going with that, but this article made me want to get it off my chest.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 1:31 PM on September 8, 2012 [41 favorites]


jokeefe : as it still holds out "beauty" as something to which every woman HUMAN must aspire to

FTFY. And to answer the implied question - Because most people prefer Bouguereau to Pollock, prefer Mozart to Cage, prefer a sunset over the mountains to a drizzly day in Dallas.


Oh, dear pla. You have confused aesthetics with physical beauty, which is a low exercise in artistic appreciation. And seriously, if you think that men are under equal pressure to be pretty and desirable, you are out of your mind. Cheers.
posted by jokeefe at 1:36 PM on September 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


"James Watson is very smart, but he's not a very decent human being, as far as it goes. Within the context of the stream of bullshit that he spews about non-scientific matters, in the long run, I wouldn't worry too much about his opinions on Franklin's appearance. Not many take his views about his valuation or denigration of others seriously, and this is more so true today than in the past, as middle and high school kids, boys and girls alike, learn about what Watson and his colleagues did to effectively steal a Nobel Prize from a fellow scientist, because she was a woman. The more he opens his mouth, the more he ruins his legacy and burnishes hers."

Jim Watson will not be remembered fondly in history books, and he has certainly earned that many many times over, but there really is a fundamental and extraordinary decency to him that I think is a shame will be totally forgotten. For example, if you hunt through the literature for papers with his name on them you will find very few, and almost all reviews, but since 1953 he and his students have been at the center of so many emerging fields including Genomics and Stem Cell research. He never talks about it, but as soon as he had students, which was not so long after the discovery, he refused to attach his name to his students work, which was unprecedented at the time and for the most part not done since. Perhaps he understood in his own, still asshole-ish, way how fucked up taking Franklin’s data from Wilkins was and this was his way of trying to atone, who knows, he’d never admit to anything so decent. His students from Cold Spring Harbor are also scattered about academia, running much of molecular biology, having been so well and compassionately trained - though again it is still important not to forget that this doesn't really include women or minorities. Watson is a really strange man, both indisputably brilliant, cartoonishly villainous, and silently generous.

"also an important point is Rosalind Franklin PRESENTED this data internally to the faculty, which included watson and crick, and directly hypothesized her data suggested either a double or triple helix structure for DNA. They then stole her data and rushed their publication to beat her to the punch. "

This gets confusing, mostly because Watson stole her work twice, Crick was not present either time. The first time was the one you are thinking of where they snuck into a presentation that she intended to give to faculty who were not competitors. They then raced home and built a model that was plainly and obviously wrong. When they announced to the Kings College folks that they had solved it everyone rushed over to hear what it was, and promptly disproved it. The theft and stupidity were embarrassing enough that their boss forbid them from working on the structure of DNA. This lasted for a few months before Watson went back to Kings College and, as he describes it, waited for Franklin in her office. She was then furious that he was not only at Kings but possibly snooping in her office and with a righteous anger kicked him out. As he was leaving Wilkins saw Watson, took him back to his office, and showed him Franklin’s amazingly beautiful prints that he had stolen earlier. All three men, but especially Wilkins, were completely outclassed by the extraordinary beauty of those prints –to this day they are some of the clearest ever taken of nucleic acids.

Franklin only hypothesized about a helix structure in her journal, and only very late in the game. Her goal was to directly calculate the structure from X-ray data and didn't really care about what pieces of her data might be able to say. This approach was proven wise the first time Watson and Crick proposed a model and embarassed themselves but perhaps foolish the second time.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:51 PM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Here is Wilkins, in his own words, discussing how important Franklin's appearance was to his view of her
posted by Blasdelb at 1:55 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I worry that these types of programs, whether incorporating a "princess" element or not, create two false impressions: that women and girls aren't interested in science in large numbers, and that interest and ability in science are sufficient to end up with a science career. In fact, in terms of undergrad majors, some science fields, like biology, are over 50 percent women, and even fields like computer science are at around 20 percent.

Women end up leaving science careers because of sexist cultures and non-family friendly policies, along with the same job shortage that's driving out their male counterparts, but when everyone agrees that the problem is attracting girls to science fields, we can say, "Oh well, we tried, but I guess they'd rather play mommy truck and baby truck" or "This will all be fixed when science loses its nerdy image." According to a recent Department of Commerce report, "40 percent (2.7 million) of men with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs, whereas only 26 percent (0.6 million) of women with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs." Those are the important gaps -- the one between men and women and the one between people qualified to work in science and people who actually find jobs -- but working on them would require being "strident" and "negative", so we retreat to "Let's get girls excited about science!"
posted by Ralston McTodd at 1:58 PM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


Here is Wilkins, in his own words, discussing how important Franklin's appearance was to his view of her

God that's awful.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:00 PM on September 8, 2012


(Here's the Department of Commerce report.)
posted by Ralston McTodd at 2:03 PM on September 8, 2012


"(Here's the Department of Commerce report.)"

Whoops, that link is borked, Here is the right one
posted by Blasdelb at 2:05 PM on September 8, 2012


This all got discussed by mefites back when the EU released their wildly successful (hah) "Science: It's a Girl Thing" campaign.
posted by ChuraChura at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2012


I think what's really important about telling the history of women in science and facilitating the careers of more women scientists is to create a sort of Obama Effect, by which girls see successful role models and begin to achieve more in response to that.

It's also, frankly, why Larry Summers should be run out of town on a rail.
posted by R. Schlock at 2:10 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"According to a recent Department of Commerce report, "40 percent (2.7 million) of men with STEM college degrees work in STEM jobs, whereas only 26 percent (0.6 million) of women with STEM degrees work in STEM jobs." Those are the important gaps -- the one between men and women and the one between people qualified to work in science and people who actually find jobs -- but working on them would require being "strident" and "negative", so we retreat to "Let's get girls excited about science!""

This still ignores the two giant elephants in the room, it is not just old fuddyduddies - though there are still plenty of those; women in science are particularly vulnerable to the misogynistic way our society is structured. The old motherfuckers aren’t nearly wrong enough when they wax on about how women get pregnant and leave. Academic jobs at the stage while women are at childbearing age are pathetically paid, profoundly demanding, and incredibly unstable. While at the same time, childcare in America is outrageously expensive, taking time out and meaningfully half time options are still lethal to a career, and the extraordinary danger posed by risk of unemployment is awfully convincing. If we want to keep our brilliant female scientists, we will need to have at least adequate and affordable child care for their children if they choose to have any and meaningful accommodations for time off.

As a graduate student I get all sorts of pandering bullshit that is frankly condescending trying to convince me to be excited about science so as to get me to stay. I wouldn’t have dedicated myself to something, that is ultimately such a poor life choice, like graduate school if I wasn’t already excited in a way those marketers clearly don’t understand. Its like they think we don’t see what our dismal futures look like, or maybe that we’re to stupid to know better, and if we just love science enough we won't care that the folks in charge of science don't love us enough to adequately provide for us. Really what is comes down to is that convincing women to stay will require a combination of hard cash and humanity, both of which seem to be sorely lacking.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:34 PM on September 8, 2012 [19 favorites]


Blasdelb: that Watson understood the data to be Wilkin's and freely given is more than plausible.

This is consistent with Watson's memory of the incident of snitching a peek at the x-ray image decades after the event, as he recounts it in the video (your later link), but it is not consistent with what Watson wrote in The Double Helix:

Then the even more important cat was let out of the bag: since the middle of the summer Rosy had had evidence for a new three-dimensional form of DNA. .... When I asked what the pattern was like, Maurice went into the adjacent room to pick up a print of the new form they called the "B" structure.
-- The Double Helix, ch. 23, p. 107 in my Signet pocketbook edition, first printing 1969.

It is hard to imagine that Watson did not know the work was Franklin's, given this context.
posted by dmayhood at 2:44 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


These Birds of a Feather, your story makes me want to cry.
posted by kyrademon at 2:46 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Blasdelb: that Watson understood the data to be Wilkin's and freely given is more than plausible."

Wait, shit, that was a typo. Watson knew exactly what he was doing, knew it was wrong, and was perfectly content with hiding it from Franklin. I meant to type Crick there, and defend Francis Crick as someone Watson was likely also perfectly content to hide the source of the data from.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2012


Masculine professional norms have done far more to haunt women scientists than feminine stereotypes ever will.
posted by ethansr at 2:58 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, shit, that was a typo.

Ah. Fair enough.
posted by dmayhood at 3:00 PM on September 8, 2012


Huh, I thought this was going to be about Princess Bubblegum (Occupation: Princess, Scientist). I always thought she was awesome, but this makes me wonder about the character as a role model.
posted by lucidium at 3:11 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that I think about it, I reckon I've come across two contradictory views about the appearance of female colleagues. On the one hand, you get the stereotype that conventionally attractive women, especially those that put a lot of work into their appearance, can't possibly be proper scientists. On the other hand, there's stil pressure in some quarters to dress professionally and not look like a slob. But on the gripping hand, there's also a weaker version of the same thing for males: dress too nicely and people think you're gunning for a job in senior management, but dress down too far and people think you're trying to recapture your grad school glory days. Still, I get the impression that most female scientists feel less freedom to ignore these rules than males, because appearance is linked to a judgment of your competence as well as an assessment of your career goals.

The whole thing makes me tired and grumpy. I don't want to see someone try to "give science a makeover". I want to see advocacy of the form "Science! No-one worth talking to gives a fuck what you look like".
posted by mixing at 3:14 PM on September 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Given the nature of the 1950s, it would have been at least somewhat surprising if Rosalind Franklin had had her critical contribution to the double helix story properly recognized from the start, and if her appearance had not had something to do with that. Her case was not unusual: there were many examples of women scientists' contributions to the war effort (e.g., the Manhattan Project, for just one example) not being given proper recognition until many decades later. That the same situation persists to some extent to this day, 60 years on, shows just how tenacious social attitudes can be, even in a group that likes to think its members are above all of that.
posted by dmayhood at 3:37 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bullshit apologia for this nonsense in this thread is nauseating. Having a beauty pageant for scientists does nothing to enhance science or get more women involved in science. It just adds another hoop for women scientists to jump through.

The beauty pageant is very different than women scientists dressing up as princesses and leading science classes of little girls dressed up as princesses. The latter may well broaden children's conceptions of what science is like, and encourage people to be playful in different ways while doing science. The fucking Miss Science beauty pageant gives male scientists license to objectify and judge female scientists. Those things are not the same.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:04 PM on September 8, 2012 [8 favorites]


By the way, if you just want to support girls in science, princessy or not, you might think about supporting a project like GirlStart. They teach girls about science in summer camps and afterschool programs and encourage them to enter STEM fields.

Just in working in the corporate world, I've seen policies change as more and more women came on board and moved into management. My boss is actually 8 months along and will be out on leave soon, but has no intention of leaving her position, and our company seems very supportive of her. In fact yesterday I saw a senior manager pushing around his adorable infant girl and feeding her lunch while her mom was running errands. No one thought twice about it.

In the long run, our greatest weapon in equalizing work is a critical mass of women doing that work, and of men demanding the chance to be part of parenting. Science is no different. The problem is that the pioneers (which includes many of the women and men working today) are still few enough that they are breaking ground and running up against entrenched attitudes.

We still have a long way to go of course, and that leaves a lot of us trying to balance family and work making crappy choices. But it's a fight we're going to win, sooner or later.
posted by emjaybee at 4:17 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


and of men demanding the chance to be part of parenting.

It's not a long enough time period to be sure of this, but anecdotally I've seen a lot of male scientists in the UK start taking advantage of extended paternity leave and the right to request flexible working recently. Several of my colleagues in various institutions are on 4/5 contracts until their children hit school age. The attitude from senior (male) academics has been positive, and commonly "I wish I'd been able to do that in the 1980s". And *none* of my female colleagues in those same positions have chosen to do it. My guess is that they aren't doing so for fear of appearing uncommitted, whilst the benefits accrue to the men. It's all about thresholds for change, of course, but I fear that this threshold is higher than we might have expected.

This is all for permanent employees, and since the postdoc=papers filter exists irrespective of legislation it doesn't tackle the biggest problem* in gender differential hirings.

*Well, that and the chronic under supply of positions.
posted by cromagnon at 6:29 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've found that scientists are reasonably attractive compared with average members of their age group, mostly they're moderately good at staying in shape, especially if compared with average Americans or Brits.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:47 PM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Screw beauty pagents, Science Princess would make a great Halloween costume.
posted by maryr at 6:56 PM on September 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is there still a problem recruiting women to the sciences? I'm a female scientist and it seems like the women are taking over all of a sudden. The young applicants for entry level jobs are overwhelmingly female and more and more I see women getting promoted into my sphere of project/ program manager as well as the high visibility policy/ public interface director type positions.
posted by fshgrl at 7:05 PM on September 8, 2012


What I won't conscience, though, is a culture that tells her that the purse wearing and primping are at the core of her being. Or that wanting to be pretty is something that gives other people power over her. She can wear that purse all she wants. But I'll be damned if I don't make sure there's a multitool in there somewhere.--R. Schlock

R. Schlock, I've worked with some amazingly talented women in engineering, some of whom are very feminine and 'girly'. Also, my son was in this math olympiad thing and was consistently outclassed by the daughter of a friend of mine, who loves Barbie dolls, art, nature, and, most of all, mathematics. I think whether a girl plays with trucks or likes pink purses is completely orthogonal to whether she enjoys math, engineering, or science. The important thing is for you to accept and encourage her personality and interests, giving her a sound foundation of self-acceptance, so if she gets this "She's too feminine, I can't take her seriiously", instead of thinking "What's wrong with me? Maybe I shouldn't be doing this", she'll think "What's wrong with these people?"
posted by eye of newt at 7:39 PM on September 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm not sure if maybe I need to change the batteries in my calendar or something but I'm positive it's telling me it's the middle of 20damned12. And we still have to put up with this psychotic anti-feminist bullshit?! I thought this shit was going to be fixed when I was still a kid! Women, men, WTF?! When I was the worlds oldest undergrad in the 90's, I knew a group of super intelligent science women. Am I to understand that their careers are at the mercy of other people's views on their physical beauty? WHAT KIND OF BIZARRO WORLD ASS BACKWARD SOCIETY ARE WE LIVING IN?!
posted by evilDoug at 8:03 PM on September 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


A lot of people in the thread have been very alarmed at the notion of the 'science beauty pageant' -- it's possible that I didn't read the article carefully enough, but the impression I got was that the only actual pageant they were talking about was a Japanese one. Not that that's an excuse for the idea, but I get the feeling that the level of upset has partially to do with an impression that the article was describing an event in the West, and doing so without very high concern by anyone who was interviewed.
posted by Anything at 8:37 PM on September 8, 2012


I think I've seen at least a handful of fairly prominent other examples (some mentioned in thread) of not particularly savvy messaging done on behalf of the science community, on the gender front and I think elsewhere as well. At the far end of the bad pattern it does tend to go 'let us beat you over the head with how persons of this or that group (represented by this here stereotype) should believe they are already very welcome'. Not very subtle and to the extent These Birds of a Feather's experience applies, not necessarily very truthful.

Maybe some of that money would be better spent greasing Hollywood producers to tell their writers to create good characters of various sciencey-types.
posted by Anything at 9:45 PM on September 8, 2012


And indeed no amount of messaging will do you much good if underneath you have serious problems with people being treated like Birds of a Feather above.
posted by Anything at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2012


Princesses who become wizards.
posted by yonega at 3:42 AM on September 9, 2012


Is there still a problem recruiting women to the sciences? I'm a female scientist and it seems like the women are taking over all of a sudden. The young applicants for entry level jobs are overwhelmingly female and more and more I see women getting promoted into my sphere of project/ program manager as well as the high visibility policy/ public interface director type positions.

In the UK, pretty much, the average engineering school would be ahead of the curve if 25% of its students were female. There is much greater balance in biosciences in terms of UG and PG numbers but the conversion of post-docs into professors is still well behind. There are five female professors of electrical engineering in the UK and I would hazard maybe ten female professors of mechanical engineering. Happily the UK research funding bodies are actually maing effoprtd to address gender disparities in the academy through the Athena Swan programme, this will require institutions to achieve particular goals in introducing and supporting more agreeable employment practices if they want to continue getting research funding.
posted by biffa at 5:48 AM on September 9, 2012


I had to come to campus today to do some stuff in the lab; I work above some engineering and physics department classrooms and offices. I saw a flier for this essay contest in the stairwell:
From Stilettos to Steel Toes: Where Will Your Shoes Take You?
Take a step in the right direction and dare to explore the career path less traveled.
“Where will your shoes take you?” Tell us why a nontraditional job is the way to go.
The sponsoring organization is the Society of Women Engineers. The website for the contest exhorts girls to "Think outside the shoebox and consider all your career options and alternatives!" I suppose this works for them, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. But I find it totally alienating. Approaches that use stereotypes to try to capture feminine girls who apparently need to "think outside the shoebox" reduce women to just a series of Things Ladies Apparently Like and lose all the nuance of women who are actually choosing science career x.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:09 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because I'm a hopeless optimist (albeit one with a mile-long grumpy streak), I like to think that the last and next hundred years will be recorded in history as the point where the human species finally broke their epoch of biological essentialism. If you look at politics right now, it's shocking how much the arguments come down to revulsion by the old guard that boys won't act like "boys," girls won't act like "girls," and that races and cultures shouldn't mix because of some bullshit religious/political/nationalistic notion of purity that stands in complete absurd opposition to actual reality.

I'm lucky in that I grew up in a strongly matriarchal extended family, albeit one hobbled with the conventions of religion, and I got to see strong women doing things that defied the usual order of things. Of course, these observations were often tempered by commentary along the lines of "well, your grandmother had to be strong, because she lost her husband at a young age," but DIY, make-do, and other supposedly male things were ubiquitous in my family, and men who wouldn't cry, hug, or be fully human were much less common than average.

I like to think that I'm some sort of gender pioneer, too, because I'm queer and have no qualms about crossing the lines between the presumably feminine and the proscriptive masculine, but I work in a field dominated by men, my marketable skill sets are mostly standard "boy" stuff, and I'm a crunchy gearhead stomparound dude built like Soviet tractor with idiotic facial hair that even drag kings find over the top. My little brother, on the other hand—well, this dopey kid and his wife are proper role models.

My sister-in-law is a scientist, working to beat malaria through ethnobotany at the NIH, and her dedication to her field, particularly while they were living and working in Chicago, was amazing. We'd be in some dive-y bar on the greasy side of town with their friends, shooting the bull over beers (and my Shirley Temples, of course), and she'd check her watch, then excuse herself.

"Gotta feed the malaria," she'd say, then excuse herself, climb on her bike, and race through dim-lit downtown Chicago to her lab, where she'd dutifully administer fresh blood to a rack of petrie dishes, hang her white coat on a hook there, climb back on her bike, and race back to resume the roaring conversation.

Because I'm a fact-nerd like she is, she and I have had amazing conversations, occasionally including laptop Powerpoint demonstrations of the infection and reproduction cycle of the malaria parasite (note to self: do not go to places where they have malaria), and I am family-proud enough to seriously claim that she will be a part of some future obliteration of a terrible human scourge. She's brilliant.

My brother is also a gender pioneer, because when their kid was born under the cloud of a birth defect that made his first several years a dicey, frightening time, he stopped working as a furniture pornographer and took up full-time parenting. He is a perfect parent, despite the claims that such skills are innate only in women, though he's subject to the same ridiculous slant from the public at large. At the playground in midday, he's watched with narrowed eyes, and the gender-enforcers at the supermarket laugh and say "looks like Daddy has a day off work!" as he's explaining to my bouncy little nephew that he cannot, in fact, have the multicolored vitamin-enriched super colossal sugar bomb cereal.

Since my l'il bro and his family escaped the idiots' paradise of Indiana, their unfortunate Gulag after a decade in Chicago, and returned to the land of pleasant living, I've been hanging out with my brother while the aforementioned bouncy little nephew is starting his life in the indoctrination machine of public school, and it's interesting to hear his side of the story. In the same way that gay folks who don't get on the child-rearing train end up at family gatherings hearing the endless blather about this cute baby and that adorable toddler and oh my is little Brittany starting high school already blaring in our ears at top volume, the subtle cultural needling gets to my brother. He's looking for work that'll fit with his schedule around school time, and it's an echo of how women are railroaded into specific lines of work and modes of behavior.

You want to say it does no harm, but like the mythical water torture, it's not the first, second, or thousandth drop that delicately drips onto the forehead—it's the millionth, or the ten-millionth. Our culture is built around reinforcing bullshit like it's our religious vocation. Boys do this, girls do that. If girls are pretty, they do this, if girls are plain, they do that.

Now, after reading this, I'm looking forward to delving more deeply into the subject with my sister-in-law. She's an exceptionally beautiful woman, albeit in a subtle, curated way. When she wears make-up, it's almost unnoticeable, and she like her shoes pretty, but functional first. She's sylphlike in the proper sense of the word, and when I used to do their laundry while I was visiting because I like to make myself a welcome guest by becoming a maid, chef, and handyman when I'm staying with friends or family, I had to laugh because I couldn't turn her jeans inside out to fold them the way I usually do it because my Popeye arms wouldn't fit into the legs.

It makes me wonder how much that factors into those subtle organizational decisions that take place in the sausage factories of institutional boards and management meetings. If you're measured and soft-spoken, you can be seen as weak, while if you stand up for yourself, you're strident, difficult, or a bitch. In some of the conversations I've had with my sister-in-law on these subjects, it's hard to even talk about the subject without getting tangled in the presumptive, value-laden language that builds our cultural consensus. It's like falling asleep with gum and waking up to find yourself strung to a pillow like Ahab to his white whale, and everything you do just adds new strands to the mess. It's a discouraging struggle, but if we don't manage it, we get the Orwellian gender future of a hairy mitt wrenching too-small gold lamé slingback mules onto someone else's foot forever.

Awareness is a major thing.

When I hear, from my own gender-violating POV, something that's flat-out bullshit, I try to make a mental note every time, to hear and process and to pose a counterpoint. You hear something gendered when it shouldn't be, or you hear essentialist bullshit—you have to say "language shapes reality" in your head and ask yourself if what you think you see and perceive is real or just what language and cultural custom creates. Paying attention, particularly in the last decade or so, has gone a long way in showing me how much I've shared some of these socialized-in biases and outright prejudices, and no matter how progressive I want to think I am, I catch them even now. Catching these grimy memes of traditionalist ideas and strangling them in the comfort of our mental software before we inadvertently (or intentionally) help to spread them along is a big deal for who we can be over the next thousand years.
posted by sonascope at 6:44 AM on September 9, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is something of a tangent, but I'm curious, is there a web site out there anywhere that does a thorough and easy-to-navigate job of presenting the stories (and perhaps images, but that's less important) of Great Female Scientists/Geeks/Hackers or something like that? Maybe along the lines of the Speed Queens blog that was mentioned recently on the blue?

I was chatting with my wife about this the other day, and Lovelace (I'm a hacker) and Franklin (she's a doctor) were the only two that immediately popped to mind after Marie Curie without "cheating" by using Google. We were both sort of frustrated and ashamed that we didn't know more off the top of our heads. Sounds like a great idea for a deck or cards or something, no?
posted by trackofalljades at 8:22 AM on September 9, 2012


trackofalljades, here's one. I'm pretty sure there are better ones, though; it's just the first I found.
posted by kyrademon at 8:29 AM on September 9, 2012


Watson is an a-hole who's major achievement was self-promotion. Hopefully history books will record that (as well as talking about the other people who actually discovered DNA and it's function, not just it's shape)
posted by delmoi at 12:13 PM on September 9, 2012


Jane Goodall and Diana Fossey are the other two I can name easily without cheating.
posted by maryr at 12:51 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The funny thing about "inspiring girls" is that so often there is this focus on girlish stuff. Like, if we show girls that scientists can be pretty, pink-wearing, fashionistas AND brainy that they'll want to do it more. Well, what about those many, MANY girls and women who don't identify with that stuff? It's just one more bar that has been raised.

How do you inspire women in the sciences? The same way you inspire anyone -- by rewarding effort and smarts and not denigrating and marginalizing. By never commenting on what a woman or girl looks like and not having double-standards about, oh, everything!

And we need to raise our boys so that they can work side-by-side with women without feeling threatened. It's harder than "stilettos to steel toes," granted.
posted by amanda at 1:24 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


A lot of people in the thread have been very alarmed at the notion of the 'science beauty pageant' -- it's possible that I didn't read the article carefully enough, but the impression I got was that the only actual pageant they were talking about was a Japanese one. Not that that's an excuse for the idea, but I get the feeling that the level of upset has partially to do with an impression that the article was describing an event in the West, and doing so without very high concern by anyone who was interviewed.

No, I picked up that it was in Japan. However, I don't think USA and Japan exist in completely unrelated spheres between which no similarities can be found. I think USA and Japan both have severe problems with judging women by our appearance more stringently than we judge men, and also assuming that women are inherently more frivolous than men, so need to be attracted by bright colors and stereotypical things like purses and shoes. I also think this is deeply harming for women who aren't femme, who find trying to be femme alienating; my mom is an example of this. While she has settled pretty solidly into presenting femme-enough, she wanted to be a boy in her teenage years because being a girl looked like it was going to suck. It wasn't until she was in her thirties that she recovered from the sexism of high school science and went into grad school to become a physical chemist.

The honest truth is, presenting femme is expensive, time consuming, and difficult. It isn't easily combined with doing any hard work; long nails get in the way of physical labor, elaborately coiffed hair needs to be tended regularly, cosmetics smear and drip off with sweat, heels are painful and make it difficult to run and move as well as causing damage tot he lower back, skirts are more comfortable but often get in the way of doors or have to be carefully watched so you don't flash someone if they're shorter, jewelry can get broken by quick movements when one is thinking about something other than one's appearance, etc... I love being femme, and have little touches I include in my look which are easier to maintain than others, but if I went in full femme regalia it would take me hours to get ready and I wouldn't be able to do my job.

However, a lot of people expect femme presentation from women. Even when the courts are on our side on things as basic as wearing or not wearing cosmetics (and yes, a job requiring cosmetics did end up going to court), there are subtler things in peoples responses and social shaming which dictate appropriate appearance.

However, STEM women are in a serious catch-22; focus on our work and not your appearance, and people decide you're not a real woman and so dismiss you; be too attractive and people decided you can't be taken seriously and so dismiss you; put too much attention onto your appearance and people decide that an interest in fashion means one can't imagine the F orbital of a molecule and dismiss you.

You literally can't win.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:04 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


The funny thing about "inspiring girls" is that so often there is this focus on girlish stuff. Like, if we show girls that scientists can be pretty, pink-wearing, fashionistas AND brainy that they'll want to do it more. Well, what about those many, MANY girls and women who don't identify with that stuff? It's just one more bar that has been raised. [Bolding added.]

The little girls who aren't into makeup have plenty of non-makeup-wearing scientist role models already. E.g., to pick a random example, me.

I want the budding scientists in my classes who wear pink (regardless of gender) to feel like they can be good scientists regardless of what they wear, and right now the part of the message that's lacking isn't that tomboys can be scientists, it's that you can be feminine and be a good scientist.
posted by BrashTech at 3:14 PM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is absolutely nothing wrong with pink and stereotypically girly stuff. Feminists who are believe they have the right to exclude others in their efforts to define what is and is not feminine misunderstand what it means to be a feminist. Being female encompasses a spectrum of delightful things; highlighting that a given career is welcoming to every facet of that spectrum is not a bad practice. Saying that female scientists SHOULD BE pink and girly OR decidedly not that is what's wrong. A scientist can and should be anybody with enough interest, passion, and talent for the profession. And if I wanna wear my Louboutins into the lab paired with a Star Wars shirt under my lab coat, I'm gonna, and I'm gonna science the shit out of whatever I'm working on.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 3:24 PM on September 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


You can be feminine and not wear "full femme regalia". I work in a lab full of women who manage it on a daily basis (granted - to New England standards, which are probably the lowest nationally).
posted by maryr at 7:13 PM on September 9, 2012


sbutler: Important distinction here. Rosalind Franklin did not "discover DNA". Neither did Watson nor Crick.
...
Franklin, Watson, and Crick discovered the structure of DNA, the famous double helix. But they wouldn't have been even looking at it if it weren't for Oswald Avery.
That should probably read,
Franklin, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins discovered the structure of DNA, the famous double helix...
As the three men received the Nobel, and Franklin did not, the charge of sexism still holds. However, in their zeal to establish this, feminist versions tend to overemphasize Franklin's work. It really took the genius contributions of all four of them to make the puzzle pieces fit.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:06 AM on September 10, 2012


"Franklin, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins discovered the structure of DNA, the famous double helix..."

When Wilkins stole Franklin’s exposures he had no idea what to do with them, which is why he showed them to Jim Watson. Both Watson and Crick indisputably earned their Nobel Prizes, but the most meaningful involvement that Wilkins had in the discovery was his theft and distribution of Franklin’s data. He had no part in the creative model building exercise in the Cavendish lab that solved the puzzle and being completely estranged from Franklin, for all kinds of good reasons, he no part in the generation of the data that inspired Watson and Crick. His own efforts to produce crystals of nucleic acids never ended up producing anything nearly so useful as photograph 51 and the only useful thing he really accomplished on his own in the Randall lab before 1953 was realize how useful Singer's calf thymus DNA was and start to use it. He imagined himself to be in charge of the lab the discovery was made in, but Franklin became completely independent and took over every meaningful aspect of the project that he only idly imagined was his when he found himself both incapable of working with her and incapable of producing quality data. In an honest world Chargoff, of the Chargoff's rules, would have been the third name on that prize. Along with Franklin who was unfortunately dead and thus ineligible by that point he actually meaningfully contributed to the work, and there would be other names that would appear before Wilkins' did; including Singer's and Gosling's.

Watson is almost forgivable in the cartoonishness of his villainy and his genuine talent, but Wilkins straight up straight up stole his Nobel Prize in a disgustingly intimate act of jealous, misogynistic, and knowing but unrepentant betrayal that he then did his best to hide. Fuck that guy.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Blaselb. I had heard that Franklin and Wilkins were partners, and knew he gave her results to W&C out of spite; I didn't realize he contributed so little actual insight & work to the final "Eureka!".
posted by IAmBroom at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2012


As the three men received the Nobel, and Franklin did not, the charge of sexism still holds.

Since no dead men won it either your logic doesn't hold. If you want a case of sexism blocking the award of a Nobel prize to a woman then this stands up better.
posted by biffa at 3:14 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Since no dead men won it either your logic doesn't hold."

Since the beginning of the Nobel Prize the committee has been dogged by fundamental misunderstanding of what the prize is for by the public. It is not a recognition of past work, current impact, or the value to humanity a scientist has provided - but a recognition of work the committee expects a scientist to acomplish in the future. Franklin would have indeed been a nonsensical choice to add to the Nobel Prize seeing as she was dead and thus fantastically unlikely to provide any more groundbreaking discoveries. However, that Wilkin's was given the prize, and specifically credit for Franklin's work with the prize, is a reflection of pretty virulent misogyny.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:51 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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