As it turns out, science blogging is scandalous

Sex scandals and harassment galore, as it turns out. Read Laura Helmuth at Slate.

Either we social scientists are more boring or we cover it up better.

Laura’s lessons leaned:

Now, you established people, listen up. You will occasionally meet younger people who go out of their way to speak with you at professional events, ask you interesting and sometimes personal questions, and hang on your every word. Those are not puppy-dog, crushed-out eyes staring up at you. These are eyes hungry for a professional break. These people are not trying to sleep with you. They are trying to get hired by you.

I’m an editor, which means I have a certain amount of power because I assign stories to freelance writers. Several years ago I noticed that handsome young male freelancers tended to gather around me at journalism conferences and laugh at all my jokes. And I’m not that funny.

It can be hard to tell the difference between flirtation and exuberance. The men and the women who approach me are doing exactly what they should do at a professional meeting: introducing themselves, expressing enthusiasm for what I do, asking questions, making clever conversation. They are looking for guidance, not lechery.

One thought on “As it turns out, science blogging is scandalous

  1. You cover it up better.

    There’s been a growing (and long, long overdue) push in STEM fields to address this kind of sexism, but having come from a a social science field (human geography), there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s there, and also overdue for some addressing.