644518_482964478391235_1344225470_nBy Claire

About a week ago, the administrator of the popular Facebook page “I Fucking Love Science” got a twitter account. Not really news worthy is it? Well actually, it was.

In announcing the new twitter account, the administrator posted a picture of themselves. Still not that exciting? How about if I told you they were a woman? I would have said that it still wasn’t newsworthy, but I would be wrong. Apparently, the fact that a woman loves science enough to create an immensely popular Facebook page dedicated to sharing interesting scientific tidbits is breaking news. 

But it wasn’t just a handful of people who felt compelled to comment on the administrator’s sex, but thousands of people and a number of bloggers as well.

Why is it so surprising?

There is a natural assumption for a number of people that science is inherently a man’s domain.

What made the whole thing worse from my perspective, was the sheer volume of comments on the appearance of Elise Andrews (the administrator). Suddenly the page got a whole lot “hotter” for a number of people and a page that was about science became a vehicle for bad pick up lines and (often unintended) sexism.

You can check out some of the coverage of this “news” on the Guardian’s website, National Geographic and the NY Daily News – to name a few.

What are your thoughts on women in science? Is it really as uncommon as all this hype is making it out to be?