Science, It’s a Girl Thing

A couple of months back, the European Commission spent over £80,000 on a video to encourage more girls to take up science. A just cause but an atrocious video, I am sure you will agree. 

It looks like it was made by Berlusconi and it would be funny if they were not deadly serious. It caused a major outcry and in response, the ‘girls’ in my department decided they could do better with a budget of £7.66. What do you think? 

Did I mention I work in the best department in the world?

 

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Science, It’s a Girl Thing

  1. Jasmine

    The trolls in the comments sections are depressing me. So many that think they’re clever saying “Psychologists? I thought they were meant to be scientists! gaffaw gaffaw…”

    Or the ones who don’t know the meaning of the word parody.

    I cheered myself up by watching the video again. They did an amazing job, and it becomes even more hilarious the more times you watch it!

    • brucehood

      Jasmine, It is THE biggest annoyance to me. Psychology has such a bad reputation because a) everyone thinks that it is commonsense or b) that it is trivial.
      This is not helped by the media portrayal where “experts” are trotted out to comment on body language or slips of tongue. Unfortunately, that is more to do with the TV production companies than the field. Yes psychology has weak, woolley areas. There is a helluva bunch of BS.
      The truth is that everyone is a psychologist. What most of us do a daily basis is so complicated that we take it for granted. You cannot programme supercomputers to approximate what a 2-yr-old does instinctively. So we think that it is easy. As soon as someone comes along and says physics, we go all weak at the knees!! go figure
      It needs better ambassadors to really explain why the mind is not that easy
      as Darwin said at the end of one of the most important science books, “On the Origin of Species”:
      “Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on man and his history.”

      Take heart and fuck all those dumbwits

      • Jasmine

        Beautiful Darwin quote, followed by “Take heart and fuck all those dumbwits”

        [grin!] You really do have a way with words!

        You’re preaching to the choir, I’m with you 100%. Have you noticed that those people who think psychology is either common sense or hogwash, are also often the very same people who, upon discovering that you’re a psychologist/psychology student, lean back, and say “don’t you try to psychoanalyse me!” with a nervous and defensive look?

        I find that very interesting!

  2. Epic. All they’re missing is a cat fight.

    Why didn’t the European Commission show real female scientists doing their work alongside men? NASA Jonhnson Style shows plenty of inspiring women, and Hungry Beast’s Climate Scientist (clean version for kids)

  3. I loved this reaction (the video this department did). It shows a classic problem that feminism has adressed. “Girls”, women are the ones who are in the best position to represent themselves. And I love te fact that the response is a deconstructive one, not even a “serious” one trying to informe what a “real” female scientist should be like. The European Comission video is depressing because it reduces to an incredibly narrow ideia what a “girl” is like. And it gives the impression that that idea will be perceived as a very atractive and modern and liberating one. That’s depressing. In the 50’s advertising, forf example, women were depicted in such a narrow way. To have the European Comission do it nowadays really deserves a good treatment of irony. Well done.

  4. Hi Bruce, Thanks for this good piece. I was part of a “gender expert” group that worked on this campaign — but not on the video! When I saw the video, I initiated an alternative contest, co-organized by the European Science Foundation. We had lots of submissions, and three wonderful winners. I described the process and showed the winning videos here: Science: It’s your thing! 3 steps to a crowdsourcing success http://bit.ly/Us73hB

  5. Charles

    Now every time I step into that building I will no longer be thinking about lectures and whatnot, but about girl-scientists dancing around in those halls. How am I supposed to take them seriously when I know of their caffeinated antics? Thanks Bruce.

  6. Techowiz

    Hi Bruce,
    If you need an extra assistant in your department, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. I never knew science could be so interesting!!!
    Best regards,
    Techowiz

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