Got myself an early yule present today; “The Oxford book of modern science writing” edited by teh Dawkins d00d. A first glance of the table of contents sends happy shivers down my spine – a great collection of 83 pieces of science writing. Extracts from key classics and more recent texts as well as shorter pieces like JBS Haldane’s heartbreaking but very funny “Cancer’s a funny thing”.
But since I can’t seem to leave my gender glasses behind ever, I started counting. And that takes me to the first complaint. Of 83 texts Professor D has selected 3 written by women. That’s about 3.6 %. How hard could it be to find a handful more?
While I don’t own the book itself, I skimmed the table of contents at Amazon and it appears she’s onto something. No, I’m not surprised, however, Dr. Isis, Rebecca, Sci, Sciencewomen, Janet, Zuska, Tara… we have work to do.
In the run-up to Copenhagen, we have now seen a second apparent attempt to steal computer files from a climate change research center. This time, the research institute in question is the Centre for Climate Modelling at the University of Victoria, B.C., Canada. See here for the story in Canada’s National Post.
It is too soon to say what these events mean–they are being investigated. We do not whether the Canadian and British stories are related, though some will inevitably speculate.
To me, though, one thing is clear. The global warming story, which I have watched and covered since the year 2003, is moving to a very new and different place, with a dramatically increased level of chatter and frenzy as the frame changes and this ceases to be a story about science, and becomes one about scandal and wrongdoing. As a result, the whole issue feels on the verge of a new tipping point as we move into the two weeks of Copenhagen.