The Sassy Scientist – Bra-Burning Bingo

The Sassy Scientist – Bra-Burning Bingo

As a first rate scientist, Kev makes a keen observation about the lack of diversity in the Augustus Love Medal nominations, but is struggling to come to a conclusion to the question:

Why is there a lack of nominations for established female scientists for the Augustus Love Medal of the EGU Geodynamics Division?

Dear Kev,

I’m no Sherlock, but the elementary answer is: not enough EGU members nominate female geodynamicists for the Augustus Love Medal. That’s stating the magnesium-burning blindingly obvious, which I’m sure you have worked out for yourself. The slightly less visible from space, but still pretty obvious, answer: past and present-day sexism. However, that’s a bit blunt and hardly on par with the subtleties this column evinces, so instead we’re going to do a fun (well, for a scientist) crowd-sourcing game to explore some of the reasoning behind this. So here it is -drum roll, please- The Augustus Love Medal Bra-Burning Bingo.

You will need: some scissors; a marker pen; a large group of your colleagues; your sarcasm detector turned up to max.

Instructions: first, print and cut out the bingo chart below. Ask an adult if you need help. Then ask your question to your collected colleagues. Please be careful if any are holding hot drinks, as the discussion may get heated. You can warm up the room by asking them what they think of Germaine Greer or Jordan Peterson if your life isn’t exciting enough. Every time one of them comes up with one of the answers on the card, you get to cross it off (you have played bingo before, right?). First to a full card wins. I’ve also included a handy analysis guide for your data post-processing.

Making nominations is effort Their wombs strangle their brains There aren’t any senior women They don’t like beer
They’re too old and just not pretty anymore Babies Maybe the men deserve it more We just need to strengthen the pipeline
They’re busy doing all my teaching But women don’t get medals Women just aren’t that clever They already got all the women’s awards
But what about (insert other minority)? Women don’t support each other They just don’t have the anatomy for coding Are there any female geodynamicists?



16/16: BINGO!!!! You live in very exciting times for science. I would suggest you invest in Robert Stephenson and Company’s exciting start-up and you should pre-order your copy of a book called On the Origin of Species. It will come out in about thirty years time, but believe me, it really will be worth the wait.

1-15/16: Your department sounds about an average mix of dinosaurs and progressives. Steer clear of the dinosaurs, everyone knows how dangerous velociraptors are. And maybe talk, or more importantly, listen to your female colleagues.

0/16: Congratulations, you work in Wokesville. Why haven’t you nominated anyone yet?! Someone has to lead the revolution and start nominating some women.

I am very much looking forward to seeing some more female nominees next year. Nearly as much as I look forward to a beer in everyone’s favourite Viennese conference centre basement.

Yours truly,

The Sassy Scientist.

PS: This post was written from under the bed after watching old lockdown terrestrial movie reruns late at night. Always give velociraptors medals. Otherwise they might eat you. They like nice shiny ones. And they’re very equal opportunities about who they eat.

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I am currently employed at a first tier research institute where I am continuously working with the greatest minds to further our understanding of the solid Earth system. Whether it is mantle or lithosphere structure and dynamics, solid Earth rheology parameters, earthquake processes, integrating observations with model predictions or inversions: you have read a paper of mine. Even if you are working on a topic I haven’t mentioned here, I still know everything about it. Do you have any problems in your research career? I have already experienced them. Do you struggle with your work-life balance? Been there, done that. Nowadays, I have only one hobby: helping you out by answering the most poignant questions in geodynamics, research and life. I am waiting for you right here. Get inspired.

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