The Intersection Moves, Male-Gaze Follows

So by now, you have noticed that the Kirsh and Mooney of The Intersection have moved from the Seed Media blog enterprise to the Discover magazine one. Adjust your bookmarks! In this they follow the prior move of Carl Zimmer of The Loom. In case you are wondering what the Discover magazine blog effort is all about, a Columbia Journalism Review bit published a few days ago overviewed the Discover blogs and leaked the move of what turned out to be The Intersection.

When a team of investors, led by Bob Guccione Jr., purchased Discover from the Walt Disney Company in 2005, one of the first things the management team did was build a significant Web presence, according publisher and CEO Henry Donahue. Within the last year, the site has added a feature called 80Beats, which aggregates and analyzes daily science news, and a number of "outside" blogs. In addition to Zimmer's blog, Discover picked up two others: Cosmic Variance, run by a group of astrophysicists, and Bad Astronomy, run by Phil Plait, a former researcher turned full-time blogger. Both of those were formerly independent, but next week the site will add another "top-ten" blog from the Scienceblogs.com community.


Zimmer was quoted in the article, giving his rationale for jumping ship:

Zimmer, for example, recently moved his popular blog, The Loom, from the Scienceblogs.com community to the Web site of Discover magazine.
"The decision was a no-brainer," he wrote in an e-mail. "Blogging for Discover in particular was attractive for several reasons, including the fact that I would be one of a handful of bloggers, rather than an army, as has become the case at Scienceblogs. Discover does a lot to promote its bloggers, whether in the pages of the magazine or having us moderate panels about science."

That's all well and good and I do hope the money is better as well. These two (Kirsh and Mooney) are on the more professional / career side of the blogging thing (did you see Mooney's WSJ OP-ED?) and they are damn good science communicators.
Unfortunately, there seem to be a few commenters drifting around the Discover blog collective that could use some education. I'll let my co-blogger fill you in:

Dear friend and ScienceBlogs colleague Sheril Kirshenbaum has-along with her co-blogger Chris Mooney-just moved their blog Intersection from ScienceBlogs to Discover Blogs network. One of her new colleagues at Discover-some astronomer dude-posted the traditional Welcome New Blogger post, including a picture of Sheril and Chris together. Let's see what kind of welcome she received from astronomer dude's commenters:
The first comment arrived fewer than 30 minutes after the welcome post was published:

I'll be the first to say that Sheril is quite fetching.

A couple hours later this gem was published:

Having not read any of their material, I am supremely unqualified to comment on any of their writings.
But, as a living breathing male of the species, I look forward to any article with Sherils picture attached.

Yeah. Go read the takedown from Comrade PhysioProf, you will be happy you did.
Wrap your head around the fact that the blogger in question censored PP's undoubtedly colorful comment while hosting a bag load of offensive shit about how Sheril's physical attractiveness is fair game for discussion. Then go over to the astro-dude's comments and play.

14 responses so far

  • I've left my two cents on the matter here
    I fear this is part of a larger, more disturbing trend at Discover.

  • Hm, Bob "Son of Bob" Guccione?
    Their wiki entries are amusing.
    It will be interesting to see how the two business models of Discover and SEED fare.
    Ideally the web will not wholly succumb to the market dynamics of mass media, but the current trend is not encouraging.

  • Lamar says:

    I also find her attractive. he's cute, too. it's usually the first thing you notice. in fact, it's why they both bothered to shower and run a comb through their hair before taking that picture. I apologize for nothing.

  • Onkel Bob says:

    Since the male gaze is following, can it bring Nisbet along too?

  • Rjaye says:

    Well, I went over to PhysioProf's, but it looks like the idjits are getting taught what their parents forgot to larn'em.
    It's one thing to notice someone's attractive. It's another to blurt it out in an inappropriate manner. What happened to manners? Egads, there are places and times for that sort of thing, and a professional science blog really isn't one. It's just rude. Plus in the context of those sexist comments, it's dismissive of someone's qualifications and abilities.
    Plus only doody heads do it.

  • Lamar says:

    I’m just wondering whether Ms. Kirshenbaum is laughing her ass off at all the attention. Wow, and all this discussion (anger) is not actually about her work, which is what we’re supposed to be focusing on, right? No, I guess we all have our own agendas. Personally, I’d rather let her decide whether she’s a victim instead of automatically labeling her. I find the level of sanctimonious pitchforking more misogynistic, childish, and patronizing than the original blog comments (which were spewed in the wrong context, no doubt). But no wonder she left; ScienceBlogs often seems all about narcissistic blogging (go see what I wrote in X’s comment section!!!) and supersaturated levels of confirmation bias. It borders on cultish. Ironically, a glam shot and a few controversial comments have now drawn a significant amount of attention to her work. I hope she benefits. I’m guessing she has enough self-esteem to not mind being both a great writer and a sexual object.

  • Dunc says:

    I have to say, since Phil moved over to Discover, the stupid quotient in the comments on his blog has definitely risen quite dramatically...

  • Lorax says:

    You know I think Lamar's perspective could benefit from a a short term stint as boy bitch for cell block C. Then maybe, just maybe, he'll have a fucking clue. Until such time, I expect he'll be forever the idiot he is.....CRAP! I wanted to keep this civil, fucking idiots always bring out the worst in me.

  • Anonymous says:

    Lamar:I’m guessing she has enough self-esteem to not mind being both a great writer and a sexual object.

    Are you fucking kidding me?
    Lorax, there's clearly no hope here.

  • Nat says:

    Whoops, that was me above. D'oh!

  • I’m guessing she has enough self-esteem to not mind being both a great writer and a sexual object

    What an.... errr, unusual conclusion.
    Thanks for the support DrugMonkey and PhysioProf. I've finally responded to all the hullabaloo so come visit...

  • Dave X says:

    Lamar@ "I’m guessing she has enough self-esteem to not mind being both a great writer and a sexual object."
    ----------------
    Women shouldn't have to waste their self esteem defending themselves from objectifiers.
    Rjaye @ "It's one thing to notice someone's attractive. It's another to blurt it out in an inappropriate manner. What happened to manners? Egads, there are places and times for that sort of thing, and a professional science blog really isn't one. It's just rude. Plus in the context of those sexist comments, it's dismissive of someone's qualifications and abilities."
    Right on. The commenters had a choice on whether or not to hit "Post", and they thought it would somehow make the world better to write what they wrote. Posting an empty box would have been better.

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