Women in chemistry blogging – lookin’ good, CENtral Science
Earlier this week, Jenny Rohn posted a graph on her Mind the Gap blog followed by:
Celebrated science bloggers are male.
She specifically noted the male/female breakdown of the four newest blog networks – The Guardian, PLoS, Discover, and Wired – without considering ScienceBlogs, Science 2.0, Lab Spaces, Scientopia, or CENtral Science.
I can tell you from my years at ScienceBlogs that a large contingent of bloggers were always pushing for more diversity – not just with regard to gender but in national origin and ethnicity, race, sexual preference, current geographical location, as well as diversity across the realm of what we call, “science.”
In response, Martin Robbins at The Lay Scientist, a Guardian Science Blog, launched a Twitter crowd-sourcing experiment this week with the hashtag #wsb to compile a list of women science bloggers regardless of indie or network status.
But let’s take a look here at CENtral Science:
Melody Voith – Cleantech Chemistry
Leigh Krietsch Boerner – Just Another Electron Pusher
Lauren Wolf, Bethany Halford, Rachel Pepling – Newscripts
Alex Tullo (with Melody Voith) – The Chemical Notebook
Rudy M. Baum and A. Maureen Rouhi – The Editor’s Blog
Lisa Jarvis and Carmen Drahl – The Haystack
Jyllian Kemsley and Jeff Johnson – The Safety Zone
If you only count Melody once, CENtral Science was comprised of nine women and three men before this graying, bespectacled Y chromosome joined on August 24th. Nine-to-four would still look mighty good compared with other networks.
Why might this be? Remember that CENtral Science is primarily written by editors and staff writers for C&EN (Leigh and I are the freelancers). A great many are trained scientists with Ph.D.s but who have sought careers away from the bench. All are superb writers, several of whom I read for a few years before joining CENtral Science (such as Rachel Pepling’s treatise on phenobarbital in my all-time favorite C&EN issue (June 2005) on the world’s top pharmaceuticals which sits beside my blogging desk.
I find this leads to a very interesting second question: does the overrepresentation of women at CENtral Science reflect that women are more likely to choose “alternative” careers with their scientific training?