Speaking of Science

July 2015's selection of notable quotes

By | July 1, 2015

© LAURENTIU GAROFEANU/BARCROFT

Cooking reshaped our anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, and society. Signals in our bodies indicate that this dependence arose not just some tens of thousands of years ago, or even a few hundred thousand, but right back at the beginning of our time on Earth.

—Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham, in Catching Fire, his 2009 book about how the control of fire and the cooking of food shaped hominin evolution

 

Our results indicate that several of the fundamental psychological abilities necessary to engage in cooking may have been shared with the last common ancestor of apes and humans, predating the control of fire.

—Harvard psychologist Felix Warneken and Yale postdoc Alexandra G. Rosati, in a recent research article showing that chimpanzees understand the process of cooking and prefer the cooked version of certain foods (Proc R Soc B, June 3)

 

Although the routine use of misnomers is more often an annoyance than a critical threat to medical research, this phenomenon can stunt progress and further demonstrates a certain lack of rigor in the scientific process.

Vincent Giguère, associate editor of Molecular Endocrinology, in an editorial warning of the dangers
of giving misleading names to genes and gene products (June 1)

 

The Ask Alice article, “Help! My adviser won’t stop looking down my shirt,” on this website has been removed by Science because it did not meet our editorial standards, was inconsistent with our extensive institutional efforts to promote the role of women in science, and had not been reviewed by experts knowledgeable about laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. We regret that the article had not undergone proper editorial review prior to posting. Women in science, or any other field, should never be expected to tolerate unwanted sexual attention in the workplace.

—A notice posted by Science Careers staff about the retraction of a controversial advice column post advising a female postdoc who was uncomfortable with her advisor’s inappropriate sexual behavior to “put up with it” (June 1)

 

As long as your adviser does not move on to other advances, I suggest you put up with it, with good humor if you can. Just make sure that he is listening to you and your ideas, taking in the results you are presenting, and taking your science seriously. His attention on your chest may be unwelcome, but you need his attention on your science and his best advice.

—Caltech virologist Alice Huang, in a swiftly retracted Science Careers column responding to a female postdoc who sought advice about how to handle her advisor’s inappropriate sexual behavior (June 1)

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Paul Stein

Paul Stein

Posts: 237

July 10, 2015

If anyone had read many of Alice Huang's "Ask Alice" postings, one finds that this one isn't the first time her advice is highly, highly questionable.

Regarding Vincent Giguere's comment, this isn't new.  I had been stating the same thing since the Sonic Hedgehog gene was named.  How long ago was that?!  It is quite unfortunate how the immaturity of some will forever put a stain on biology.  And, this isn't just a problem in this one branch of science.  Physics is replete with stupidity, from particle characteristics to the Martian landscape.  Grow up, people.

Avatar of: Tom Lippman

Tom Lippman

Posts: 3

July 27, 2015

I couldn't agree more with Huang's advice to focus on the business of doing research being heard and appreciated for it.  As much as modern man lives in his cerebral cortex, his more basic instincts are still there and if his super ego continues to keep his urges within the limits of common decency, "Get over it!" because it is not going to change any more than the female behaviors that are aimed at making them more physically appealing.

Avatar of: Tom Lippman

Tom Lippman

Posts: 3

July 27, 2015

I couldn't agree more with Huang's advice to focus on the business of doing research, being heard and being appreciated for it.  As much as modern man lives in his cerebral cortex, his more basic instincts are still there and if his sense of propriety and super ego continues to keep his urges within the limits of common decency, "Get over it!" because it is not going to change any more than the female behaviors that are aimed at making themselves more physically appealing.

Avatar of: Tom Lippman

Tom Lippman

Posts: 3

July 27, 2015

 

 

I couldn't agree more with Huang's advice to focus on the business of doing research, being heard and being appreciated for it.  As much as modern man lives in his cerebral cortex, his more basic instincts are still there and if his sense of propriety and super ego continues to keep his urges within the limits of common decency, "Get over it!" because it is not going to change any more than the female behaviors that are aimed at making themselves more physically appealing.  If the complaining woman cannot accept this unwelcome reality, and she does not like men looking down her shirt, she can wear higher necklines, and if she doesn't want men looking at her knees or ankles, she can wear boots too.

 

Avatar of: .M....

.M....

Posts: 4

July 28, 2015

Maybe men should start wearing clothes that, from certain angles, expose body parts that are generally regarded as sexual. 

Popular Now

  1. A Newly Identified Species Represents Its Own Eukaryotic Lineage
  2. Man Receives First In Vivo Gene-Editing Therapy
  3. Telomere Length and Childhood Stress Don’t Always Correlate
  4. Optogenetic Therapies Move Closer to Clinical Use
RayBiotech