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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, January 19, 2008
  NC Science Blogging Conference: Gender and Race in science
Gender and Race in science: online and offline
SF (Suzanne Franks, moderator), KV (Karen Venti, science to life), PC (Pat Campbell, fairer science), SW (ScienceWoman)

Starting off points from the blog
PC – in response to Summers, why is the media not covering this, why isn’t there more info on women in science
- guidance from journalists and from other scientists on talking to the media
- wonderful community of women in science
- how to we use women in science blogs to get more girls interested in science – use advocates to promote the blogs to the students
- science carnival (for women scientists) theme this month on telling stories
- blogs have helped her connect with younger women scientists

SW (and minnow)
- science womanofesto (about being a woman and a scientist, and being married and a grad students), starting conversations (see on her blog) (5/11/2005)
- she gets a lot of benefit and feedback, she is a student of gender studies and she learns a lot
- she gives blogs an hour a day to read and write, but she gives so much because she gets so much out of it, especially starting a new job and moving
- audience has changed blogging, and she has become more targeted as she has blogged more
- advice – think about your style beforehand. she’s found that she can do either woman as scientist or do the actual science

KV (grad student, intends to go into science writing)
- her blog is about science and life and for her to get experience writing science for the public
- why with tons of female scientists, why aren’t more blogging?
- advice – just do it, talk to other science bloggers and get some help and just get started

Audience questions
- pseudonyms, assumption that male
- some males with female pseudonyms and vice versa

self-censoring if you’re blogging under your own name
- even if pseudonymously still self censoring (both to maintain anonymity and to maintain blog-life boundaries and to not be a jerk and to present the right social identity of several)
- in the case of race and ethnicity, there might be not enough people to even maintain anonymity so can’t be part of this larger community and get the support that might be built in for majority scientists and students
- if have a job, have to censor further

Maybe science bloggers in the open are more likely to be tenured and out there already.

Maybe scientists think that they’re objective and don’t appreciate racial, gender, etc., lenses (lenses my word).

blogging vs. just being a woman scientists
- can find others like you when you can’t in your local area and can get support

difficult to find African American and Hispanic scientist bloggers

KV- as a grad student, has a PI who is very supportive of what she’s doing, and who wants to increase representation in science,

can women get ahead in science by becoming more visible, because they may be better writers and can have popular blogs

SF- woman’s studies does provide knowledge beyond “anecdotal” this is what I experienced, so there needs to be respect for gender/race things that are results of systematic research (my words: even if qualitative or ethnographic paradigms)

PIs could read what women are experiencing and make sure that they use it to learn and treat women better (I did not capture this thought)

Issue on magazines getting information out there about gender and race issues when participants are not willing to come out and be quoted.

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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