It was with great disgust that I read the account of Dr. Danielle Lee being a called an “urban whore” for not wanting to write for an obscure science blog since they didn’t offer financial compensation to their bloggers.
Misogyny AND racism! Well done, Biology-Online! You stay classy!
What makes this situation even worse is that Scientific American, where Dr. Lee blogs, forfeited a wonderful opportunity to create a teachable moment out of this, one that highlighted the discrimination that women in science face, and further scientists of colour face. They deleted Dr. Lee’s post, in what seems to be a move to protect themselves from negative publicity, and, perhaps loss of revenue.
Think of how dehumanizing Biology-Online’s editor’s words are: “urban whore” robs Dr. Lee of the science that she does. It robs her of her mind, and unflinchingly places the focus on her body, as if to say that her intellectual contributions are equivalent to what a prostitute working a corner does.
Why the hate, I ask? Just because she asked for compensation? We live in a world where advances in the biological sciences are happening at breakneck speed, and where there is a need for stellar scientists, there is also a need for stellar scientist-communicators who can share the wonder and awe of research with the common populace. Dr. Lee is one such writer. Her posts are that rare tonic of witty and edifying. Shame! Shame on Biology-Online for reducing one so brilliant to a slab of meat that gets traded on an ugly marketplace, and shame on Scientific American for not standing by one of their finest.
Take care now,