[ASC-list] Scientific literacy of our leaders?

Regan Forrest regan at reganforrest.com
Thu Feb 23 04:55:38 UTC 2012

Wow that is a pretty stark illustration Robyn!

Cliquishness and snobbery are clearly alive and well in quarters of the 
scientific world. I would suggest there is a large overlap with the "old 
boys club" (Venn Diagram anyone?).

In a museums context, I have seen "scientists" look down their nose at 
people who may not have a formal scientific qualifications, but 
nonetheless know their stuff and have plenty to offer. (Dismissing 
nonscientists appears to be a convenient way of not challenging current 
assumptions and work practices in some cases).

Many people who are in less research-focused career science careers do 
tend to be more likely to be women. So we get a double whammy in that 
"traditional" science jobs appear to be unattractive or inaccessible to 
many women (for whatever reason), and the jobs women *do* take are 
somehow dismissed as not "real" science.

I'm hoping such antiquated attitudes will retire with the 'old guard'. 
But it's significant from a science communications perspective - it's 
difficult for us to claim that science is an open and accessible broad 
church when it demonstrably isn't in many instances.


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