Scientists Are The New Rockstars: 2012 Edition


It should be obvious that I love science, but I understand and respect that everyone doesn't.  Still, people that excel in their craft should be recognized the same way that entertainment stars are.  I'm not saying that we should have a "Real Housewives of Science" reality show or have a Kardashian scientist stumbling around labs, but it wouldn't hurt to share in some of that publicity.

To that end, let's check out some of the top scientists of 2012, as reported by the scientific journal Nature. Here is an excerpt that was news to me:

While it's no surprise that women are underrepresented in science, pinning that to discrimination, rather than gender differences in aptitude or interest, has been tricky. But when Yale University microbiologist Jo Handelsman showed that researchers offer fictitious female job applicants about $4,000 less in salary and rate them as less competent and worthy of mentorship than male counterparts, she produced strong evidence for sexual bias. Handelsman says she hasn't personally experienced strong bias, but became motivated to speak out about it when other women scientists described their experiences with sex discrimination.

It's common news that job applicants with ethnic sounding names (hello Shareef Jackson!) get called less for interviews, but it is extremely worrisome that this applies within the science field. Gender discrimination is real and it exists.

To see the full list, check out the entire article on the Mother Nature Network.