Friday, September 17, 2010

The Anthro Reader, Vol. 7: Women in Science (Bloggers) Edition

The recent proliferation of science blogging collectives has changed the state of the science blogosphere. However, Jennifer Rohn and Richard P. Grant have drawn attention to a discrepancy in the landscape of popular collections in terms of gender. The networks seem heavily stacked in terms of the Y-chromosome. Guardian blogger Martin Robbins has responded by compiling a list of women science bloggers—and I made the cut! Aside from this, it's quite the list. So I thought that this edition of the Anthro Reader would highlight some of the fabulous women included in this count.

Julia heliconian butterfly egg
Credit: Martin Oeggerli, National Geographic.
First, Chris Goforth is really excited about insect eggs. Her dissertation focuses on water bug eggs and she's excited by the feature in this month's National Geographic that focuses on these delicate items. It's a great opportunity for Goforth to introduce readers to one of the tools used in her research—the scanning microscope.

Carin Bondar hosts this edition of the Carnal Carnival—the theme is vomit so you might want to wait a bit before you check it out. In the mean time, you might want to read about social cliques and old boys clubs in wild chimpanzees:
As humans, we’re not likely to send out a food-sharing call to just anyone who happens to be within ear shot.  If we’ve found something great, chances are we’re only interested in sharing with ‘socially important individuals’, people with whom we are closely associated.  After all, if you do something nice for members of your immediate social group, it strengthens the group bond and should translate into some reciprocal assistance at a later time.  Reminiscent of those cliques you experienced in high school, there is also a form of social rejection of non-members.  If you’re not a part of the club, you aren’t invited to take part in the ‘members only’ benefits…whatever they may be.

It turns out that in wild chimpanzees the same logic applies.
Just another link to our primate cousins, it seems.

Anatomy of a taste bud.
Credit: NEUROtiker,
Wikipedia Commons
If you'd like a refresher on morality, Sarah Askew has posted the first part of a talk by Jonathan Haidt about a new analogy on morality based on taste. According to Haidt, there are "five key foundations of morality, parallel to the five kinds of taste receptors found on our tongues: care/harm, fairness/cheating, group loyalty and betrayal, authority and subversion, sanctity and degradation." So ... you are what you taste? 

My own experience as a woman blogger has not been easy. It can be difficult at times to juggle a full time job, family, and writing. I do it simply because it makes me happy. Because it's a chance to be connected to things that are important to me. Though not everyone has understood this, it's important to me, and I'm glad to have been included in such an esteemed list.

There are a great many more writers in addition to the few named here. You're encouraged to spend the rest of your morning perusing their sites, and letting Martin know of anyone else who should be counted.

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