American sitcoms – how do they influence the view of scientists?

Todays talk by the museum curators gave me a massive insight into what goes on behind the scenes in museums and the important roles of learning officers.

The one part of the talk, which really grabbed my attention, was when the ‘International Women’s Day’ exhibition at the Discovery Museum was mentioned. The fact we need an exhibition to remember/celebrate female scientists made me think how badly women are under-recognized and unappreciated within the world of science. The fact that ‘in the UK men are six times more likely to be employed in science’ is staggering.

Don’t get me wrong, I am far from a ‘woman’s rights fighter’ but I think it is unfair that scientists have this stereotypical view of being male, which makes me raise the question, how did this stereotype come about? Are the media to blame? Take the American sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’ for example, about two physicists who are geeky MALES! I guess that answers my question.

Looking at the top 10 most historic male scientists and female scientists, it didn’t surprise me that I knew more of the males! I can’t seem to put my finger on why, is it because males made more groundbreaking discoveries? I beg to differ… looking at the example of Watson and Crick’s discovery of DNA; I found this would never have happened if it wasn’t for Rosalind Franklin’s (FEMALE) x-ray crystallography work!

Any ideas on how to get the view of a scientist from this to this?

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4 Responses to American sitcoms – how do they influence the view of scientists?

  1. vanarm says:

    interesting slant, will needf to investigate who the female scientists are. Is this media/ school education?

    • leahdey says:

      Good point, I guess school education could be partly to blame, although I personally think the media could help in putting female scientists out there a bit more, just a personal view though!

  2. jessicarose11 says:

    Really thought provoking blog- I hadn’t heard of most of the female scientists- but knew all the males! Some really good links and I like how you ask a lot of rhetorical questions- gets the mind thinking! I kinda agree with your opinion on American Sitcoms like ‘The Big Bang Theory’, but I think it has moved forward a lot in the past few years with the introduction of strong, independent female scientists like Bernadette and Amy (played by Mayim Bialik who has a PhD in Neuroscience!) but I may be very biased since I love the show!

  3. juliarosencl says:

    I really like how your blog talks about popular culture to interest the reader. You get your point across and back it up well with plenty of extra links. I am really in favor of any exhibition which showcases female scientists and hopfully opens the publics eyes to what they’ve done and what they’re continuing to do

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