Tag Archives: Stereotype

Science is messy – for girls too!

My name is Maureen A. Donnelly and I am a biologist at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. This photo was taken in Madre de Dios Peru after Rudolf von May and I visited one of his study sites. We are interested in the ecology and conservation of tropical forest frogs. Credit – This is What a scientist Looks Like.

Twenty years ago I produced a Calendar using photographic portraits of local artists. It was a project for a photographic portrait course. It did cross my mind to use scientists as a subject, but I didn’t pursue that because it felt too close.

But I wonder what subjects I would have come up with. Would I have tried to get portraits which fitted the prevailing stereotype of a scientists.? Or would I actually have gone out and photographed the subjects “in the field”, as it were?

The current uproar over the Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign reminded me of that project. And this one seems to have been a huge fail. An example of stereotype fitting in the worst, anti-female, way.

So as a counter, have a look at this website – This Is What A Scientist Looks Like. It appears relatively new but aims to be a collection of photos of real scientists – the above is their first example.

You could even submit your own photos.

I have often said that scientific research is a messy process – obviously in more ways than one.

See also: Science: It’s a Girl Thing!

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