I suppose with a Labour MEP who sees sexism in kids' cartoons, one shouldn't be surprised at yet more feminist claptrap from Hairy Moneyballs, but
I have followed the Susan Greenfield story with a heavy heart. The Royal Institution, for a long time famous for little other than being a stuffy old boys’ club, had appeared with Susan’s appointment to see the light. A top scientist and superb media performer, she hit the spot. The image of the Royal Institution was transformed and science made interesting for ordinary mortals.
Yet she has been removed from her post of Director, made redundant supposedly in order to save money. Susan’s decision to sue for sex discrimination is a brave one. I, and I am sure many other women, are right behind her. I somehow doubt if she would have been treated in such a fashion had she been a man, a member of the stuffy old boys’ club.
Yeah, it's sexism, that's what it is. Err ... well, apart from in Hairy's fevered imagination of racist fairies at the bottom of the garden and the bogey sexist in every wardrobe, not really, no.
I was going to just link, but hey, let's reproduce the entire delicious knockout in full, eh? You know how fond Hairy is of getting rid of unfavourable opinions. This particular delusional-lefty buster deserves to be kept for posterity without fear of deletion.
I am afraid the situation regarding Susan Greenfield and the Royal Institution is more complicated than being an issue of sexism and jealousy. That the Royal Institution has been facing financial problems has been known about for some time. Susan Greenfield has come in for sustained criticism concerning her views on Facebook and other social networking sites. The critical problem has been her unwillingness to submit her ideas in the form of a testable hypothesis to a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Ben Goldacre has documented this here.
This is not the first time that Susan Greenfield has been embroiled in controversy. Her statements on cannabis, and her promotion of a computer program that had not been tested against adequate controls have led to the feeling that as director of the Royal Institution she was failing to fulfil the role of promoting the public understanding of science. The science blogger Gimpy has given excellent historical context to this sorry state of affairs here.
What is lamentable about this is that the now-defunct post of Director of the Royal Institution could have been the perfect platform to promote scientific literacy and a greater understanding of the scientific process among the general public. Instead discussion seems to be more concerned about sexism rather than the extent to which Greenfield satisfied the requirements of her role.
P.S. Many scientists (male and female) would object strongly to your description of the Royal Institution as being “famous for little other than being a stuffy old boys’ club”. Humphrey Davy invented the lamp that saved the lives of miners. Without Michael Faraday’s research and the work of a collective of scientists and engineers you would not be sitting by your computer writing a blogpost criticising the Royal Institution. I haven’t even mentioned the fourteen Nobel laureates that have worked there…
I think that's scientish-speak for 'she was shit, and so are you'.
Hairy (OK to use a pet name, isn't it? I feel we have bonded), if there is anyone and I mean anyone, more deluded and irrelevant than you in Brussels - and I include all 27 member states in that - could you please point them out, because you are one hell of an act to follow.