In the last twenty-four hours, I’ve been asking myself an interesting question: What if Hunt’s remarks, rather than being purely glib sexist stupidity, actually did represent an ideology he held? What if he genuinely believed that females are bad for science? Would we then worry a little more about academic freedom—about his right to hold an unpopular view and still be a member of the academic community?
About a week ago, I got to see an early copy of the New York Times review of Galileo's Middle Finger, and so naturally I thought that its appearance this weekend was going to be the big event of my life this week.
I was more than a bit incredulous yesterday when a stranger on Twitter sent me news that anti-vaxxers are passing around a particular Guardian article from 14 years ago as if it contains fresh and accurate “vaccine harm” news. In fact, I refer to this Guardian article in my new book that comes out this Tuesday, and to be honest, having this article come back the same week my book comes out seemed almost impossible to believe.
The way “retrospective chart review” works out in practice, patients get used for research they were never asked to be part of, and perhaps more importantly, no one is ever asked to make sure they are notified that their medical records have been used for a published study. They never know they became subjects of research.
What’s a woman allowed to say?
That’s a question I wrestled with a lot while I was writing and revising my new book, Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science. Really ironic; so much of the book deals with struggles over who gets to say what gender means—and the whole book is written from the perspective of an unashamed feminist. So why worry about the question of what women are “allowed” to say?