UGLY SCIENCE: My view of the #sciencegirlthing

Firstly, I'm not a scientist. Secondly, I have been working for several years in roles that try to advance the cause of science through effective engagement in social media.


  1. I was busy trying to edit a 2min version of the above 20min video from a researcher who is *actually* doing something I have been trying to get happening in my work: 1. put paper in Institutional Repository2. post narrative / back-story on blog3. tweet about it.

    When...I was rudely interrupted by a post on FaceBook:
    "Does this make you wanna do science ladies? No, didn't think so. ":

  2. Picture 25-FacebookPost
    Picture 25-FacebookPost
  3. Turns out the twitter hashtag #sciencegirlthing was going nuts. Including a response from Melissa, whose video I was trying to edit!

  4. Then Ben Goldacre weighs in with his usual acerbic wit. Post from twitter account of said "marketing cock" :
  5. Tim Minchin...Confessions -
  6. Then something interesting happened: the 'conversation' moved from the text of tweets to a kind of multimedia 'call and response' (as Larry Lessig described back in 2008) in the form of blog posts, image and video mash-ups. The Tim Minchin song about 'boobs' actually made me (older male, non-scientist - completely outside the target demographic of the campaign) LOL.
  7. Keeping Culture Free
  8.  is the Lessig Video about Video ReMix and language.
  9. More on that later...
  10. Picture 12-OriginalIdea
    Picture 12-OriginalIdea
  11. Picture 23-ImageResponse
    Picture 23-ImageResponse
  12. Picture 28imageresponse
    Picture 28imageresponse
  13. Picture 27-imageresonse
    Picture 27-imageresonse
  14. There were a few pleas for some positive engagement (the other videos on the site were pretty good).
  15. Interesting to note that most of the people shouting angrily at twitter were outside the target demographic of the #girlsciencething campaign. Many of them shared responses from their children who are in the target demographic. Wonder if they would even have noticed if not for their angry parents?

  16. Then the 'evidence based' types chimed in with links to papers with evidence suggesting the campaign might actually have some negative effects on the target demographic. I found it ironic that the first paper I tried to read was behind a pay-wall. Fortunately it only took a few minutes for someone to tweet a link to an Open Access paper I could read. 
  17. Picture 8-PaywalledEvidence
    Picture 8-PaywalledEvidence