Author: Sari van Anders

Swimming up from scientism

One of the tricky things about inviting feminism and science to the same party is that most of us scientists are swimming in ‘scientism.’ Scientism refers to the belief that science is better than all other forms of knowledge acquisition (epistemologies), or even that science is the only legitimate way to learn about, well,...

“Normal” is, well, normal… right?

  We have an ongoing series, here at Gap Junction Science, where people can write in with their questions. The series is called, with admirable concision, “Dear Feminist Scientists and Science-y Feminists.” Here is an older installment and here is another one. You can submit your questions here! To keep...

Science and hip hop

One of my favorite songs ever is Mathematics by Mos Def. There’s the line that is dear to my heart, though I don’t rhyme or rap, because it articulates how intertwined culture and science need to be: “You wanna know how to rhyme you better learn how to add It’s...

Gender and Sex in Cell Cultures and Animal Models

Gender and Sex in Cell Cultures and Animal Models

Though feminism is relevant across science disciplines, sometimes it’s easier to see how it might be relevant to the scientific questions of one area than another. For example, it might be less immediately obvious how sex comes into the bench biosciences vs. human research… though you’d have to have some...

Are people evaluating your science or your gender? Could you ever know?

Are people evaluating your science or your gender? Could you ever know?

You’re not the only one who has wondered if those people were reacting to your gender or to your work. And you’re also not the only one who wishes you could scientifically test your hypothesis. Too bad that it’s impossible. Well, maybe not impossible. I mean, you could alter your...

Science and feminism: the holy grail for nasty comments?

Science and feminism: the holy grail for nasty comments?

Just recently, Popular Science shut off their comments in a move they report here. An interesting post came up on Scientific American about this, with a pretty hilarious graphic to start it off (including a great line: “I can science!”). It seems that comments on posts about, especially, climate change...

Of nodes, nubs, and shared projects. And cyborgs. And why being alone in your dept is hard, but being alone in a discipline is really hard.

Of nodes, nubs, and shared projects. And cyborgs. And why being alone in your dept is hard, but being alone in a discipline is really hard.

Though it’s decreasingly common, many women in science have had the experience of being the only woman in their department. Social networks have been and continue to be important ways of connecting those who are the only or amongst these few. These networks might take place at conferences, via societies,...

Woman + Advisor = Mama? Something’s funny about that math… And we’re not talking ‘haha funny.’

Woman + Advisor = Mama? Something’s funny about that math… And we’re not talking ‘haha funny.’

If you’re a scientist-who-is-a-woman (or another academic-who-is-a-woman), you may have experienced expectations from students to be motherly. And, if – or when – you’re not motherly to your supervisees, they may feel betrayed or angry, as people tend to when norms are broken. Because whether you are an actual mother...

The Transparency Project: When you’re a scientist with a baby. And a lab.

The Transparency Project: When you’re a scientist with a baby. And a lab.

You’ve gone through 9 months (more or less) of bodily changes; you’ve waited anxiously for the adoption forms to come in; you’ve gotten nervous, excited, sick, nauseous, overjoyed, down in the dumps, and bored; you’ve agonized over strollers; you’ve rubbed your partner’s feet; you’ve worried over finances… Before, you were...

Does science have a font?

Does science have a font?

Back when the Higgs boson results from CERN were being reported, there was a major/minor tempest in a teapot about the font used by some scientists in their presentations. The discussion actually made it into New Scientist, and even the Guardian! And that font? Comic Sans. We could debate whether...