One of the news articles featured in today’s edition of the Guardian Higher Education Network e-newsletter, (Mis)Judging Female Scientists, caught my eye this morning and infuriated me enough to post this (hopefully short) rant about it.

According to Dario Maestripieri, a very male neuroscientist at the University of Chicago, the women neuroscientists at a recent conference he attended just weren’t up to scratch in the looks department. After attending the conference he posted the following comments on his Facebook page:

“My impression of the Conference of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually high concentration of unattractive women. The super model types are completely absent. What is going on? Are unattractive women particularly attracted to neuroscience? Are beautiful women particularly uninterested in the brain? No offense to anyone..”

Wow.

So in order to avoid the scorn of decidedly macho male scientists, it isn’t enough to just do good research – we also have to get a makeover every time we head to a professional meeting to present a paper? Or is the research of the (obviously very rare) supermodel scientist going to be taken more seriously than that of the “average woman” scientist just because its author is sexier?

 
What’s next? Forget the Best Poster Prize – let’s give out Vivienne Westwood Style Awards for the bustiest, leggiest pieces of meat in the research community.
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