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A bright future © John MacPherson

In a week when the Church of England demonstrated that they interpret the term ‘bishoprick’ too literally, it’s nice to see effort being made to ensure that academia is a bit more enlightened in this interesting article in the LSE blog: whether to blog or not to blog and “why female academics should take the risk”.

Looking back, it is painfully clear that women’s place in the history of science is small, and is perceived to be even smaller than it actually was because people too easily downplayed the contributions that were made. A series of recent events have focussed on the historical situation, such as those at the Royal Society and a recent meeting of the Women’s History Network. Lurking in the opening sentence of this paragraph is also that only-too-familiar spirit of unconscious bias, so that where women did play a part, their contribution was often minimised by those around them who were perhaps unused to crediting women with anything beyond being decorative. In consequence, their contributions have never re-emerged from the shadows. But, what is past is past and today we need to worry not only about the women already contributing to fantastic discoveries in science, but those who are just setting out on a path through scientific education and their early careers. We need to make sure that that low visibility does not persist.

 

(Thanks to Ed Brydon for the link)

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

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