Author Archives: Sylvia McLain

About Sylvia McLain

Girl, Interrupting aka Dr. Sylvia McLain is a bio-physicist in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (UK), but she blogs in a personal capacity. She is also a proto-science writer, armchair philosopher, amateur plumber and wanna-be film-critic. You can follow her on Twitter @DrSylviaMcLain

On quotas in Academia – do we need them?

As a graduate student I was asked to participate in a `women in science’ group. I refused. I was an old(er) grad student compared to my cohort, my goal was to get in and get out as fast as practically … Continue reading

Posted in Bias, Unconscious bias, women in science | Comments Off on On quotas in Academia – do we need them?

On ‘lower impact’ publishing – it’s better than you might think.

Over the course of the last two or so years, I have had a number of personal issues to deal with. Family illnesses, the sudden death of my older brother and some other things (I will spare you the gory … Continue reading

Posted in Impact Factor, scientific publishing, Uncategorized | 22 Comments

On harassment, the power differential and a modicum of hope

In 1991, I came down with a sudden stomach bug. As is common when I am too ill to think, all I could manage was planting myself in front of the television in an effort to keep myself mildly distracted … Continue reading

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On taking a knee

When I was a teenager the 1980’s there was a spate of burning the Stars and Stripes in the US, as a protest to Ronald Reagan’s policies. Which particular policy is hard to remember as Ronnie had a whole heap … Continue reading

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On Louise Richardson and the avoidance of homophobic teaching

Oxford Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson is causing quite a stir this week. For one, she gets paid a lot of money – which is not as much as footballers or bankers and less than her peers in the US. Prof. Richardson’s … Continue reading

Posted in Oxford University | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

You only got it ’cause you’re a girl

This week there was a fabulous article, by Alison Coil, on the bias against women in the sciences and why men don’t believe it exists. For ‘men’ you could just as well read ‘the establishment’ because we know not all … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Stop re-writing Confederate History : this includes you Simon Jenkins

Simon Jenkins published an opinion piece yesterday in The Guardian entitled With every sneer, liberals just make Trump stronger. Jenkins derides those who deride Trump and his supporters and he thinks that Trump missed a trick in criticising the left: … Continue reading

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We the people have to keep striving for equality and justice for all

We the people of America, we have a problem with racism. Like many of you, I watched the events in Charlottesville, from the safety of my home, in horror, tears and blinding anger. Ostensibly, these folks are angry that a … Continue reading

Posted in Charlottesville, Racism | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Beware of the monoculture (why diversity is good for crops and tech companies)

In the 1930’s, the USA along with a number of other countries, went through a massive economic depression. This was in no small part due to a lack of diversity. Those amber waves of grain, which had only been recently … Continue reading

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On ending the myth of the Lost Cause

During Reconstruction, that horrific impoverished period in the US South after the Civil War, the Cult of the Lost Cause (of the Confederacy) took its roots in the minds and attitudes of Southerners and indeed of the nation as a … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Statues, Confederacy, Racism | 1 Comment