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Speaking my mind and signing my name

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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I wrote an essay as part of a Group Post at #HopeJahrenSureCanWrite about being your authentic self – name and all – on the internet.

Five science bloggers, @HopeJahren, @DNLee5, @JBYoder, @kejames & @hormiga, each of different academic ranks and each with our own ‘vulnerabilities’ share our stories of why we write, but perhaps more importantly stand firm on complex issues penning our own names. Group Post: Real-Life Identity and The Internet

Truth is, my identity as a woman of color in science is my biggest vulnerability.  Even if I wanted to be anonymous or pseudonymous it would have been nearly impossible to remain so. Simply sharing racial and/or ethnic identity and my research field is more than enough information to identify me or any other science scholar of color. Drop a hint of regional location or institutional affiliation and you might as well have my social security number. There are so few of us – scientists of color at the graduate level and above - that sometimes managing your invisibility is our best shield – at least from the negative things that fly at us.

I thought it through and decided that abandoning invisibility was my best protection. By stepping full out into the light, I aim to use this public platform to compel power players to be on their best behavior – to at least be demonstrably fair.

So far, so good.

You can read my essay at this link:  My name is DNLee, I am Science Blogger and I approve this message.

Please visit the entire series: Group Post: Real-Life Identity and The Internet.

DNLee About the Author: DNLee is a biologist and she studies animal behavior, mammalogy, and ecology . She uses social media, informal experiential science experiences, and draws from hip hop culture to share science with general audiences, particularly under-served groups. Follow on Twitter @DNLee5.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. Spironis 1:09 pm 01/27/2014

    There are so few of us – scientists of ylem and ichor… There are only scientists. Empirical reality interacts with content not packaging. If a mouse named Algernon made sense of Misner, Thorne, Wheeler, so be it.

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  2. 2. beatrice 1:32 pm 01/27/2014

    Science has a long way to go towards gender and racial equality, and people like DNLee are fighting the good fight toward that goal with writing like this!

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  3. 3. NatBlair 1:38 pm 01/27/2014

    I liked your post over at Hope’s place quite a lot. Thanks for writing about the science you do, and the things you go through.

    @Spironis – perhaps some remedial reading about how science is constructed and actually done is in order. Cause that’s a pretty naive thought. Start with Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. If not that, then how about starting by respecting what another person’s experiences are.

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  4. 4. Spironis 12:44 pm 01/28/2014

    European Patent EP0438043B1 (1996) My work restores human eyesight in the real world. “Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific RevolutionsThe Feynman Lectures/ How many eyes did philosophy ever restore to functionality? If philosophy could do something real world, it would. It has! Pol Pot, North Korean Juche Idea, Mao’s little red book, Das Kapital, Aristotle fueling the Church of Rome, Aquinas vs. Spinoza, Zwingli vs. Luther, etc.). The only empirical solutions are engineering solutions.

    Affirmative Action – jobs given to those who cannot do them.
    Compassion – an evolutionarily stupid act committed at others’ expense.
    Diversity – admission based upon disqualification.
    Inequity – keeping score.
    Management – Technical incompetence exercising intellectual irresponsibility.

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  5. 5. NatBlair 2:02 pm 01/28/2014


    Thanks for letting the real motive of your comment come into the open. (I must have used my Staples “Easy” button for that one).

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