From Inside Higher Ed (here), this article about a U Chicago professor who took to Facebook to diss the appearances of his female colleagues:
Pity the attendees at last week’s annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience who thought they needed to focus on their papers and the research breakthroughs being discussed. It turns out they were also being judged — at least by one prominent scientist — on their looks. At least the female attendees were.
The scientist was Dario Maestripieri, a professor of comparative human development, evolutionary biology and neurobiology at the University of Chicago. He posted the following reflection about the meeting on his Facebook page:
“My impression of the Conference of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually high concentration of unattractive women. The super model types are completely absent. What is going on? Are unattractive women particularly attracted to neuroscience? Are beautiful women particularly uninterested in the brain? No offense to anyone..”
Maestripieri posted the comment on what he may have presumed was a somewhat private portion of his Facebook page. But at least one of his Facebook friends didn’t see the humor, and the post spread on Twitter and elsewhere. And the “no offense to anyone” conclusion of the post doesn’t seem to have prevented considerable offense.
The reaction has been intense online, with people tweeting comments like “Looks like Dario Maestripieri thought the #SFN conference was Paris Fashion Week” and others posting his e-mail account and or critiquing his looks.
Within the women-in-science blogosphere, many have been writing that Maestripieri’s Facebook post provides evidence of the kinds of attitudes they have long experienced, but that many men doubt.
The more things change…