Sexism and harassment in academia

This is why I’ve been offline for a while. I’m genuinely open suggestions here… I’m not writing this to be facetious, I write this in all seriousness. How do senior female academics deal with it? As a woman working in geological research in academia, it’s not uncommon to face the scenario where I’m the only female in the room. It’s…

Choppergate et al.

I’ve been missing for a while, all will be explained shortly in another blog entry. For now, I just want to comment on the Bronwyn Bishop choppergate scandal. What she did was wrong. It’s inappropriate to use taxpayer funds for personal travel. And as far as I’m concerned, attending party fundraisers is personal, not part…

Special Needs Education

I have a friend who has a large family. She’s got 7 kids, and is a single stay-at-home mother. Be that as it may, the fact remains that 3 of her school aged children are on the autism spectrum and have varying levels of learning difficulties as a result. One of her sons is quite…

When it doesn’t “get better”…

These days, I’m sure most people have heard about the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign for LGBT youth. I applaud their efforts wholeheartedly. But at the same time, I wonder just how honest it really is to say “it gets better“, when in some cases it just gets exponentially worse. I’m not referring to bullying relating to…

I can’t pretend that didn’t just happen…

So I had to sit through a research meeting this morning. One of the postdocs in our research group was presenting the results of some new lab analysis that they had done. It was boring, but you’re never going to be interested in everything that happens in your research group. I had kind of started to tune out, when…

The Pyne Nut

Australia’s illustrious Education Minister strikes again! Today he’s decided that maths and science should be compulsory for all grade 11 and 12 students. It seems like a good idea in theory, doesn’t it? Improving the numerical literacy of the country. But let’s come crashing back to reality for a moment… Schools are already having to…

Females in Geology

So, I was at an industry function last night for work. It was part of a seminar series organised by one of the professional societies in my field. Predictably, I was the only female there (aside from the seminar presenter’s wife, who has nothing to do with our field). Being a professional event, they had…