Interview: March for Science Sparks Broader Discourse About Science Activism

I was interviewed by Dr Heather Goldstone for Living Lab Radio, along with my colleague Dr Caleph Wilson:

Two dozen researchers from Woods Hole, MA, traveled to the flagship march in Washington, D.C.
Source: Heather Goldstone/ WCAI

“They [March for Science Los Angeles] Tweeted in February that they’d been hearing from scientists that there might be problems with violence in connection with their focus on diversity,” said Zuleyka Zevallos (@OtherSociologist), a sociologist at Swinburne University. “That’s a dangerous historical connection that they are making from having minorities attend a science event to having it lead to violence. There’s actually no correlation between the two.”

Zevallos walked away from the March, as did Caleph Wilson (@HeyDrWilson), a biomedical researcher and digital media manager for the National Science and Technology News Service. They took to Twitter, instead, helping build hashtags – #marginsci and #AltSciMarch – that have developed into a vibrant public discourse about diversity and equity in science.

“One of the things that the hashtags were able to do is allow people to have those conversations in a way that can be visible,” said Wilson. “We could see each other having these conversations, as well as we could point the March for Science to these conversations.” […]

Zevallos says there is a silver lining, though.

“I do think that there’s a positive momentum in that these conversations have been happening for a very long time,” Zevallos said. “Underrepresented minorities have been doing activism for decades. But I guess the hashtags, in particular, allowed these conversations to converge, and for different networks from different parts of the world to join their voices together.”

As March for Science organizers work to foster a more lasting science activism movement, Zevallos and Wilson hope that the conversations started by the March can be leveraged into more awareness and meaningful changes in the science community’s prevailing attitude toward diversity and inclusion.

Read more and listen to the interview on Living Lab Radio.

Standing Up Against Sexist Science

I was quoted in this article by Rebecca Schuman on Slate. She addresses the sexist logic behind the recent The New York Times  article which claims that “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist.” Schuman notes that the article is based on a study published in a journal for which both of the authors act as editors. Here’s the quote including my critique of the study:

“Had this study been subject to more strenuous peer review (the kind that you are more likely to get when you don’t submit to a journal you founded), Ceci and Williams may have been pressed more on why their conclusions, as the sociologist Zuleyka Zevallos tells me, don’t match their data, which she argues actually “do show inequalities in STEM, but the authors dismiss this.”

Schuman critiques the sexist logic behind the study:

“By insisting that the continuing exodus of women from scientific academia boils down to lifestyle choices, denying that it is the unwelcoming environment of scientific academia that forces those choices, [researchers] Ceci and Williams have simply revealed their own sneering—and, yes, sexist—dismissal of the experiences women have had.”

Read more on Slate: http://buff.ly/1Elxe06

Here’s my article analysing the poor methodology of the study: http://www.stemwomen.net/sexism-in-academic-science/