documentary”world picture“He takes over the issues of scientists and researchers who have suffered sexual harassment In their workplaces, as a reflection of a phenomenon that occurred decades ago. However, these are only the tip of the iceberg, as those affected say they continue to be discriminated against, stigmatized, and receive fewer resources from their male colleagues.
the movement #I also Breaking barriers since he started complaining to the film’s producer Harvey Weinstein, in October 2017. From that moment on, the culture of . began Complaint Troops in various disciplines joined in this battle. The Science He was silent for a longer time.
Photo: AFP, archives
According to a study he did science and engineering academies s medicine from United State (EU), in June 2018, the scientific community and academic venues recorded the second highest rate of harassment, after only the military.
It was until the middle of this year when the astronomer Jeff Marcy and evolutionary biology Francisco Ayala They were expelled by the University of California and Academy of Sciences (In the, for English acronym), respectively, that accusations within the scientific guild were beginning to be taken into account.
Read also: The US National Academy of Sciences expels a member accused of sexual harassment for the first time
Now, the directors Sharon Shattuck e Ian Cheney They expose a series of cases in their latest documentary. Nancy Hopkins, Professor Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (With), is one of the complainants who can be seen in the aforementioned documentary.
Nancy Hopkins. Photo: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The NAS member also talks about her experience with Francis Crick, a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, which he incorrectly touched more than 50 years ago, when the researcher was an intern in James Watson’s laboratory.
“Before I could stand up and shake his hand, Francis Crick crossed the lab where I was working, came up to me and touched my breasts,” Hopkins recalls.
“What has he investigated? – continued the scientist – she asked me as if nothing creaked, as if touching my breast was a natural thing.”
In this way, the creators of Picture a Scientist — available on Netflix — noted that sexual or gender-based harassment affects one in two female scientists, engineers and doctors, the Scientific Information and News Service (SINC) explains in a recent post.
Crick’s case is not an isolated case, other specialists have decried abusive behavior in science and assert that this type of behavior is nothing but the “tip of a huge iceberg”. Other phenomena that laboratories contain are sexual behaviours, gender bias, and direct or indirect discrimination.
The researchers deplored not being considered conference participants, as well as omitting their names in the collaborative work. Their other disagreements relate to comments they describe as “offensive and insulting” –
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In the same way, scholars are accused of being victims of unequal distribution of resources and that they are not usually considered for promotions or prizes.
“Both bullying and sexual harassment are prevalent behaviors in academia because the system supports them with a very hierarchical structure, in which those at the top concentrate all power. In addition, researchers who experience such harassment are in precarious situations (usually PhD students). and postdoc) and tend not to report for fear that it will affect their careers,” said Jessica Wade, a physicist at Imperial University of London, A SINC.
Jessica Wade. Photo: Instagram
Activist dedicated to combating the lack of visibility of signs in the fields of ScienceAnd the TechniqueAnd the engineering s Maths a turning off (English acronym), since 2018. Currently, Wade adds daily information to Wikipedia About experts and researchers with little appreciation, but their collaboration has been key in these disciplines.
The expert said discrimination occurs as a natural reaction in male environments. to me International Astronomical Union, On the Astrophysics Only 17% of the members are women. He added that these low numbers exacerbate the situation of sexual harassment.
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“I don’t know if I was conscious or not, I’ve always chosen to work in younger, emerging environments, where there is more parity, less hierarchy, and cases of sexual harassment being less common,” he said.
Wade acknowledged that there are also examples of good practice, as there are many societies that have established codes of conduct that help monitor, avoid and punish compulsive behaviours, such as Gravitational wave observatory using laser interferometry (lego) and the International Society of Optics and Photonics (spies).