April 22, 2009

Imagine a scientist...

The past few days, I've been, to say the least, rather busy. This evening however, I decided to take a few minutes to catch up on the blogosphere. I was reading this post on Female Science Professor, and I saw a comment that said:
However, I do remember going in to do a simple physics experiment with my Mom's 1st graders many years ago, back when I was in grad school. My Mom had them draw pictures of scientists before I came in. Lots of white coats and weird hair, and all men. They had a hard time believing that I was a scientist when she introduced me.

This reminded me of an assignment we had in sixth grade. For the assignment, we had to draw a scientist (it was my first homework assignment in middle school). If I remember correctly, and it could be I'm not, I drew a woman in a lab coat with long brown hair, standing on a tile floor next to a table with some beakers on it. Now that I look back at it, I was probably projecting my own interests in science by creating a persona that resembled myself, buy it's interesting that I immediately thought of a woman scientist. I wonder if my ability to picture myself as a scientist stems from this lack of inherent bias, or if my interest in science is what allowed me to see it as a gender neutral profession.

2 comments:

Vicky said...

I totally remember doing the project in 6th grade!!!!!!! I remember that I drew a stick figure (the scientist) then spent the next 3hrs drawing (ok...tracing) sea creatures. Mine was a marine biologist. HAHA, my first of many poor grades in science classes...

Jackie said...

so that's where you got your lobster tracing talent! btw we totally need to finish that drawing...
mine was a guy googling everything on the computer because he didn't have enough money to do the experiments himself because the government was retarded. well not really, i wasn't really that perceptive as a 6th grader, but looking back now i'd like to think that that's what was going on subconsciously...