The Scientist's Image

By JoAnne Hewett | February 14, 2006 1:49 am

Much has been said here about the image that the public has about scientists – how we dress, how we work, what makes us laugh…In particular, one study concluded that children did not picture scientists as “normal young and attractive men and women.” Fermilab did their own study, asking 7th graders to draw pictures of scientists before and after visiting the laboratory – with markedly different images resulting from meeting real scientists at work.

And this topic came up at SLAC over the weekend. The annual DOE Bay Area Science Bowl was held at SLAC on Saturday. I unfortunately had a conflict this year and could not participate, but it’s a great event and a pure delight to watch the kids think about science and reason their way through problems The winning team was from Harker School in San Jose and they will compete in the national Science Bowl held in DC at the end of April. Good luck to Harker School!

In the midst of the action last Saturday, this group of science-oriented teenagers saw this picture:
Their comments were:

Gosh, scientists obviously work hard because in this picture they are working late at night, have used up the blackboard, and are wearing their pajamas.

You know that’s a real quote, because no one could make that up if they tried! Next time I put on a skirt and heels, I will try hard not to think of it as pajamas! However, note that the kids did not think it strange that a group of women would be discussing science….now that’s real progress! Pajamas and all…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science and Society

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