In a week when the Church of England demonstrated that they interpret the term ‘bishoprick’ too literally, it’s nice to see effort being made to ensure that academia is a bit more enlightened in this interesting article in the LSE blog: whether to blog or not to blog and “why female academics should take the risk”.
Looking back, it is painfully clear that women’s place in the history of science is small, and is perceived to be even smaller than it actually was because people too easily downplayed the contributions that were made. A series of recent events have focussed on the historical situation, such as those at the Royal Society and a recent meeting of the Women’s History Network. Lurking in the opening sentence of this paragraph is also that only-too-familiar spirit of unconscious bias, so that where women did play a part, their contribution was often minimised by those around them who were perhaps unused to crediting women with anything beyond being decorative. In consequence, their contributions have never re-emerged from the shadows. But, what is past is past and today we need to worry not only about the women already contributing to fantastic discoveries in science, but those who are just setting out on a path through scientific education and their early careers. We need to make sure that that low visibility does not persist.
(Thanks to Ed Brydon for the link)