# Sexing up science

1. Aug 10, 2007

### billiards

Do scientists have an image problem?

The linked article (below) talks about how the stereotypical white lab coat may be detrimental to the public perception of scientists, is it time for a change?

http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0708/070804

2. Aug 10, 2007

### zoobyshoe

I don't think opposition to animal testing or stem cell research has anything to do with lab coats.

3. Aug 10, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
Just need to get the PF sisterhood to be the science poster gals.

4. Aug 10, 2007

### Cyrus

hmmmmmmm, no.

5. Aug 10, 2007

### robphy

Scientists do have an image problem:
but why don't doctors?
Is it really about the coat?

In recent news,...

"Physicists shedding stodgy lab coats" (about AAPT Greensboro; Neil deGrasse Tyson)
http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070731/NEWSREC0101/70809020

"Math Book Helps Girls Embrace Their Inner Mathematician" (about Danica McKellar)
http://www.wired.com/culture/education/news/2007/08/winniecooper_QA

6. Aug 10, 2007

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
:rofl: Yay, Danica! She's so awesome. (and a UCLA girl - w00t!)

7. Aug 10, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

:grumpy:

8. Aug 10, 2007

### ranger

Judging by the cover picture, title, and the horoscope and crush thing, its pretty safe to say that this book pretty much sucks. What the hell is a math-o-phobe? It should be Arithmophobia or Numerophobia.

9. Aug 10, 2007

### robphy

10. Aug 10, 2007

### ShawnD

Sorry to bring a dose of reality to the science forum, but there is no negative perception of scientists. Case in point: where is there a shortage of scientists? Try to get a job as a chemist or physicist; I dare you. You'll be competing against hundreds of other potential scientists who can't find work because there are too many people in science. Right now in my city, working an entry level job at a warehouse pays about $17 minimum whereas an entry level chemistry job is more like$15, and there's basically no such thing as entry level physics or entry level biology.

If there was a negative perception of science and scientists, the market would not be saturated like it is now. This fear of bad image is being put forth by nerds who are looking for somebody (society?) to blame for their own social retardation.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
11. Aug 10, 2007

### robphy

It's not all about "jobs [in science]".
It's also about public awareness, appreciation, and understanding of science.

12. Aug 10, 2007

### BobG

I don't know. I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand without at least taking a look inside.

Michael Kelley has gotten good reviews for his 'non-traditional' math books, and Colin Adams, Joel Hass, and Abigail Thompson have gotten good reviews for their "How to Ace Calculus: The Streetwise Guide". A math book doesn't have to be a text book to connect with its readers.

Of course, the first is a high school teacher and the second three are professors - they all have at least some experience teaching. I would think that would be as important as their knowledge of math. McKellar's a little lacking in the area of teaching experience.

Chapter 7 sounds kind of encouraging, though: "Is Your Sister Trying to Cheat You Out of Your Fair Share? (Comparing Fractions)." With seven kids in my family, making sure none us were cheating was a pretty big motivator to learn math. But then, we were brats.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
13. Aug 10, 2007

### billiards

In the UK a shockingly low number of students go on to do physics, maths and chemistry at a higher level. There is also a lack of new teachers in the core scientific disciplines. A lot of people see scientists as people completely dettached from the community, there is almost something not real about them, as though they are in another world.

Perhaps the low ratio of female to male scientists is another sympton of the scientists' image problem?

14. Aug 10, 2007

### Cyrus

:rofl: I was saying that in response to the OP, not the sisterhood. Oh great, now im screwed. I should have used the quote feature.

15. Aug 10, 2007

### Cyrus

Greatest quote ever.

16. Aug 10, 2007

### gravenewworld

:rofl:

Sexing up science?

Ohhh mannn the chick from mythbusters.... :!!):!!):!!):!!):!!)

I'm sorry but I would have to agree with this. I have gone to several American Chemical Society (ACS) conventions ( and these conventions easily attract 50-100 thousand+ people everytime) and have met some of the whackiest, no social skilled, absent minded people there. I work with a lot of Phds from all different fields like chemistry, medicine, biology, pharmacology, biophysics, and computer programming. And you know what? They don't give a crap how they look. A lot of scientists that I work with are THE worst dressed and least social skilled people I know. I'm sorry but I have to laugh everytime I see the one Phd where I work who wears sandals with white socks pulled all the way up to his knees. :rofl::rofl::rofl: There are a lot of Phds who are not in touch with the world but only with their work. Psh why can't more Phds dress like Einstein did? That man had some serious style.

And I know a lot of people on this board think that style shouldn't matter etc. but you know what my best friend in the marines who specializes in intelligence told me? 80% of all communication is NON-verbal, thus your outward appearance says TONS, no matter if you like it or not. The first thing he looks for on a mark is their clothing. By what they are wearing he can tell exactly what class they are from and exactly how much they could be closely associated with sources that he wants.

ahaha yes I am drunk right now too. I just killed 5 belgiums 2 of which were 10+%. I am about to crack open my dogfish head 120 min IPA whic h is 20%. I'll be back. PF is always awesome to browse after you have had a few brewskies.

Last edited: Aug 10, 2007
17. Aug 10, 2007

### Math Is Hard

Staff Emeritus
18. Aug 10, 2007

### zoobyshoe

Opposition to animal testing and stem cell research has nothing to do with lab coats.

19. Aug 11, 2007

### gravenewworld

I found pics of the mythbusters chick!!

Too racy? I don't know. The mods can delete if they want. It is just the same thing as a bikini though.

Last edited: Aug 11, 2007
20. Aug 11, 2007

### fourier jr

yesssss & don't forget natasha stillwell!!