It's the pig-dog field scientists that are the problem

Mar 10 2016 Published by under Anger, Fixing the NIH, NIH, NIH Careerism

But clearly the laboratory based male scientists would never harass their female subordinates.

Field science is bad.

Lab science is good.

This is what the head of the Office of Extramural Research at the NIH seems to think.

8 responses so far

  • chall says:

    He must've missed the astrophysics stuff lately, not to mention the "other" regular stories from a lab environment. In these kind of situations I find myself choosing between "he's lying" or "he's just plain ignorant". Neither is really flattering for a high ranking position.

  • Former Technician says:

    Ugh! Ad-Blocker blocker on the link. Nope not disabling. Forbes has had malicious ads.

  • drugmonkey says:

    It's a delaying tactic. "Sure, I believe Kate Clancy's paper but, well, we need the similar data for lab environments before we could possibly take any actions".

    Of course this guy knows that it is just as bad in every academic sub-section no matter how you slice it (well, lower if you just count women Profs, probably). He's just kicking the can down the road with a tried and true tactic.

  • Krzysztof Sakrejda says:

    @drugmonkey, thanks for making my day, that was the most crap-tastic cop-out on administrative responsibility that I've read all week. I sincerely wonder what Lauer's explanation is for why lab sciences are going to be so much better than field sciences. I just tried to come up with one and I can't figure out anything I'm willing to post in public.

  • drugmonkey says:

    Brace for Just-So stories?

  • sel says:

    You know....there have been so many stories about harassment in the STEM field, I'm wondering if med school and hospital work are a beacon of sanity. Can anybody report from that area? Are the depictions on TV shows of willing and frequent assignations in the on call room true? Or do doctors / nurses / med techs never ever date or harass or interact in any sort of sexual way with each other?

  • Krzysztof Sakrejda says:

    I can think of two situations of professional harassment in bio/chem labs. One was a situation where a group managed mutual support to the extent that the harassing PI was driven out (to take a nice job elsewhere, with clean references from the institution as far as I can tell) and the other was a situation where faculty closed ranks and the junior scientist was driven out. Remaining hypothesis: maybe NIH labs are special snowflakes very different from non-NIH bio/chem labs?

  • chall says:

    sel: you think med school & hospitals are better?

    Hm. I'd say in the world where "the doctor" is king (seldom queen) and have a lot of power, there are pitfalls as deep as in the lab with the PI. My own experience would be that there is a lot of "you won't get anywhere unless Dr X roots for you for fellowship etc" which is similar to the whole STEM situation with mentors and need for "friendship" and "mentorship". Of course, it's all personal experience and hearsay from my female fellows (and visual experience from my own eyes). Not necessarily ref papers on this though. And I've seen quite a few relationships btw doctors and nurses, similar to the PI & techs. Again, not always sure which came first; the relationship or the positions...

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