That Recent Promoting Science to Girls Thing

On the heels of the recent controversial commercial that tries to make science seem more attractive to girls, I decided to post a few older videos that are, if nothing else, at least more honest.

These videos were made with various demographics of scientists, not just female scientists, and don’t have the same goal as the recent commercial. They’re more about trying to make scientists appear as people. Nonetheless, they’re a better representation. I don’t know about everyone else, but I think that sometimes honesty is a actually a good policy.

Naturally, this wouldn’t serve the same purpose, but I felt like putting this out there. As a female scientist myself, these videos make more sense to me than the advertisement does.

How do you guys feel about the commercial, or marketing science to girls in general?

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4 Responses to That Recent Promoting Science to Girls Thing

  1. I think there’s definitely something to be said about making science seem more accessible to people, because there does tend to be a stereotype that you have to be a white male genius in order to pursue the sciences (not one of those components is necessary, of course). But I think the recent commercial definitely went way too far in the other direction. I sat there thinking, ‘I do NOT look like THAT!’, and that’s definitely not a good thing. These older videos would be much more effective, in my opinion! But even a day in the life of a scientist kind of video could be effective.

    • Marie Erving says:

      Yeah, I’ve felt for a while that there’s a disconnect between scientists and non-scientists. In order to get people to care, in any demographic, there should probably be more genuine understanding. The commercial didn’t really say anything about what science is or what research is like, and that’s probably the issue. It was all gimmick, no substance. How do you get people to like something without telling them anything about it? Also the bit about science being a girl thing was kind of weird. They want the field to be more inclusive, so they’re making a statement that deliberately excludes people?

  2. Psycho Gecko says:

    I’m all for marketing science to everyone. It’s become obvious that we’ve become a bit of an anti-scientific nation. I can’t speak to the nature of other countries, but the tendency of late has been to dumb things down for the lowest common denominator instead of uplifting them. I mean, there’s textbooks now claiming Nessie is real and is proof against evolution. A certain political party (you know who) has, in their platform for Texas, taken the position that they do not support the teaching of higher level critical thinking skills.

    Screw em! It shows the weakness of your positions when you throw in that you like your people to not know how to think critically. It’s a way of saying “These are the positions of those who support willful ignorance.”

    It mainly shows up on a certain side of politics, but there’s also the fact that I feel that our best way forward is to think our way out of the economic hardship and find ourselves a new niche. We can’t go back and be the industrial base anymore, so it’s clear that the path to further greatness (and money) is by reaching forward into new frontiers of science and technology, with feats that no amount of uneducated sweatshop labor can duplicate.

    And, finally, there’s just some really awesome stuff out there that we’re learning about, with any of it. Whether it’s an offshoot of humanity that was herbivorous and had bony crests on their heads as a result, the ability to create super-strong exoskeletons, watching quantum entangled electrons tango, or looking at the vast trillions of stars in space and realizing we can meet another species of beings like us out there, somewhere.

    The universe is vast. Scarily vast, admittedly. But we shouldn’t be scared to fill in our knowledge of it.

    Somebody drop some mad Sagan beats on this.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I don’t know too much about the stances across the country, as they tend to be very different in very different areas, and I’ll confess that I’m not too good at keeping up with the politics. But I personally tend to think that maybe furthering understanding might be a bit more beneficial than marketing science, as such. To too many people, science is one of those things that they have an idea of what it represents, but not what it actually is or how it works.

      I already think there’s a little too much of equating science with faith going on without asking people to take science on faith, you know? I keep wondering if it would help to add even a day, maybe a field trip, in high school dealing with actual research. I don’t know. That’d probably require a lot of funding anyway. It’s a complicated question, and I think I’ll be brainstorming on it for some time to come.

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