Roundup on Diversity and Equality in Sci-fi and Science

Somehow, this turned into an equality roundup.

Here’s an interesting essay that won a Hugo this year: “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley, at A Dribble of Ink. I like it because it acknowledges that trying not to be prejudiced is hard and ongoing, while buying into the the prejudices around us is easy and the default. As anyone who’s ever tried to take a long hard look at their instilled beliefs will know. We all start off believing the things we’re told, right or wrong. That isn’t anyone’s fault, and we all do it. The important question is, do we ever stop?

Since that story got me clicking links, F— Yeah SciFi/Fantasy WOC also posted a comment by Scott Lynch where he responds to criticism of one of his characters, a “widowed black middle-aged pirate mom,” quite forcefully.

At Scientific American, the post What makes a Good Scientist? What makes a Thug? Reflections on how young men like Mike Brown are perceived by the public went up last month. The same author has another good post from last year, A Dream Deferred: How access to STEM is denied to many students before they get in the door good, about obstacles that present themselves early on.

For statistics, here’s the 2013 Digest on diversity in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

And of course, there’s the recent paper dealing with Women in the Sciences Report Harassment and Assault that’s causing some buzz, especially when accompanied by a truly horrifying personal account of harassment in field research. (How can these things even still be happening? Why aren’t we way beyond that yet?)

To end on a positive note, there’s the response Bioware writer David Gaider made back in 2011, to a critic complaining about bisexual characters in Dragon Age 2. I have lots of reasons to be a fan of Bioware, but this definitely contributes.

Feel free to point out anything on the topic that stood out to you in the comments, or anything that I might have overlooked.

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