Caught in the Act! A *real* scientist!

If you follow the science-y blog o’ sphere – or at least the same blogs I follow – you’ve probably noticed the increased chatter about inequality in science (academia in particular). How do we increase representation of under-represented groups (women, minorities, etc.) and (in very colloquial terms) make them feel as though ‘they belong’ (i.e., that they are an equal in all regards)? The answer is complicated and the solution will require participation from all.

In my mind, an important step in this process is killing the stereotype of what a scientist looks like.

No, we are not all white upper-class males. No, we did not all go to ivy league schools. No, we do not all wear white lab coats and safety goggles to work everyday. No, we are not all math geniuses.

We, at least most of us, are passionate and excited about our science. We dance, sing, juggle, and rock climb. We have pets, friends, and families. We have hang-ups, self-esteem issues, and egos. We are human.

Scroll through the ‘This is What a Scientist Looks Like” tumblr and the human side of scientists will become obvious in an instant.

Freelance writer Allie Wilkinson, started the tumblr in 2012 to do exactly what I said above – kill the scientist stereotype. I love this tumblr and its goal so much. I hope it never fizzles out. I’ve submitted my picture and I challenge all you scientists to do the same!

Kylla Benes
Kylla Benes is a PhD candidate at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center.
She studies the links between the ecology and genetics of seaweeds in marine ecosystems. She also makes time for baking, sewing, and exploring the terrestrial side of Earth.


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