Do women blog about science?
When we asked readers who their linkurl:favorite science bloggers;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53596/ were last year, we started the discussion by reaching out to a number of leading science bloggers. The bloggers who responded were all men, and most of the blogs they recommended were written by men. So perhaps understandably, GrrlScientist and others linkurl:wondered why we hadn't asked any women science bloggers about their favorites. ;http://scienceblogs.
When we asked readers who their linkurl:favorite science bloggers;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53596/ were last year, we started the discussion by reaching out to a number of leading science bloggers. The bloggers who responded were all men, and most of the blogs they recommended were written by men. So perhaps understandably, GrrlScientist and others linkurl:wondered why we hadn't asked any women science bloggers about their favorites. ;http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2007/09/favorite_life_science_blogs_wh.php
Well, we had. It's just that none responded to our query. When I mentioned that today at a panel on gender and race in science blogging panel at the linkurl:North Carolina Science Blogging Conference, ;http://wiki.scienceblogging.com/scienceblogging/show/Gender+and+Race+in+Science panelists gave me good advice: Next time, say so. Don't leave it up to readers to assume we left women out.
Of course there are lots of women blogging about science. But only about a fifth -- 22% -- of the bloggers at www.scienceblogs.com are women, panelist Karen Ventii, who blogs there at linkurl:Science to Life, ;http://scienceblogs.com/sciencetolife found when she counted up those bloggers who identified their gender.
Ventii's 22% figure resonated with me. It wasn't very far off from the percentage of women that Richard Gallagher, the editor of The Scientist, found when he linkurl:looked at our editorial advisory board;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/01/1/15/1/ as he was writing his editorial for the January issue. That issue features a linkurl:package of stories;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/1/1/67/1/ on women in science. One of those who has commented there is Patricia Campbell, who runs a great site called linkurl:Fairer Science. ;www.FairerScience.org
One way to help women stay in science, as our linkurl:contributors have noted, ;is to highlight great work by women. So here's one example, which a Michigan State University communications manager told me about right after the session: Vanessa Hull, a grad student, is linkurl:blogging and vlogging;http://special.newsroom.msu.edu/panda/journal/index.php -- that's video-blogging -- from China, where she's chasing linkurl:pandas. ;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53115/ She's putting together a great site. A highlight, from a section describing the bait the team uses: "Goat is an odiferous meat, picked for its 'come eat me' qualities."
Onward, women science bloggers!
January 19, 2008
Thanks for sharing this - very interesting. Bora and I tried hard to make the conference include women presenters and attendees. Glad you were here again.
January 21, 2008
Dear Ivan, \nThank you for the great post. It was great meeting you at the conference and engaging in such lively discourse. I think discussions like this are the first step to encouraging more women in science blogging.
January 21, 2008
Women read and comment on Memoirs of a Skepchick,a science blog that has many fans, male and female.\nhttp://skepchick.org/blog/\nRebecca Watson (the Skepchick) also podcasts on The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, and won a contest to host a new science show on NPR.
January 21, 2008
Love you guys - but those 20 odd % of women who are on the editorial boards, hold professorships, stay in science & raise families, teach, etc. etc. also have those other legs of the stool to deal with - Blogging is yet another extra (along with paying the bills, getting the automobile taken care of, emptying the trash, etc. etc.) and - unfortunately - fairly far down the list of priorities.\n\nSomewhere in the mix, we too need sleep and fun!\n\nSingle female professor in the MidWest
January 21, 2008
I DO!!!!! I'm a blogger for the online version of Brazilian's biggest newspaper O Globo, and a PhD in molecular biology AND a member of the National Association of Science Writers...and..well.. a writer (google me- Marcia Triunfol). My blog is called 23 Pairs: Genes, Genomes and the Human Nature and can be found at www.oglobo.com.br/blogs/genetica\n\nBest,\nMarcia
January 22, 2008
Ivan \n\nI really liked your post but wanted to remind you that when a group hasn't been at the table, sometimes it takes more than an invitation to get them there. As Coturnix commented over at FairerScience.com, they worked hard to make sure women were involved. Coturnix said: \n\n"We had 16 women and 13 men leading sessions and giving talks - a parity we had to work hard for (including rejecting session proposals by men, and actively recruiting women). The participants were also roughly 50-50, unusual for tech conferences. All of this makes me very happy and, I think, makes for a better, more relaxed atmosphere."\n\nI agree and appreciate that they made sure women bloggers were not just invited but felt wanted and welcomed.
January 24, 2008
I have been participating in blogging for a long time now (well, in blog-world time it is long). But not as a science blogger, mostly on politics and issues. \n\nHowever, the skills and tone honed there are now making our science blogging effort easier. \n\nI will say, though, that I blogged "gender neutral" for a long time before being comfortable enough to blog female. \n\nMary (not sure why the interface is calling me null null in preview--trying not to take that personally...)
February 3, 2008
i am a lurker contemplating starting a blog\nBUT\nwant GENERAL audience where science, higher ed and politcal cultural items mixed\n\nhoepd this blog would give me a CLUE as to where to blog, but cannot contimue reading to end of the blogs - although logged in\n\nit is VERY important that science is part of all like, not isolated - this is even more importnat for women than men!\n\nBest
March 9, 2008
I am not at all attracted by the idea of doing a straight science blog. But I really enjoy blogging about science and spirituality (http://science-spirituality.blogspot.com) and working on it with a gifted student who is as interested in this conjuction as I am. My personal blog is about intuition, its role in science, and the likely science that underlies the experience of intuition(http://intuition-indepth.blogspot.com). I learn so much with each peice I write.