#girlswithtoys and the specter of sexism in science

Science, at its best, is beautiful in its universality, which is why Shrinivas Kulkarni’s comments to NPR about scientists being “boys with toys” strikes a nerve with me. I recently had a conversation with a colleague who wanted to remind me how fantastic my job prospects were compared to his, and I struggled to explain why improving employment prospects might not fully encapsulate the struggle of women in STEM fields. It is the constant, low-level whisper of notbelonging manifesting itself in little actions and phrases that does a lot of women in, I suspect. In that spirit, I recommend everyone go read some of the #girlswithtoys tweets and remind themselves that (a) women exist in STEM fields, (b) we’re doing awesome work and (c) we love our science toys just as much as men.

Below are some of my favorite bits of commentary and images:

LANLKate Clancy’s piece in Slate is an excellent round-up and analysis of the incident.

Los Alamos National Lab has some vibrantly beautiful pictures of women working in their facilities, as seen on the right. They have more. They’re awesome.

Then, in response to a hyperbolic article headline:

And finally, if you’ve been following the #GamerGate fiasco, this is relevant:

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