A snapshot of institutional lack of diversity in life sciences, by way of a promotional email

An anonymous Boing Boing reader says, "Here's an email that academic publishing company Elsevier is sending around to advertise to scientists. Notice anything about the pictures of scientists they chose?"

Also spotted at @hormiga's Twitter, with context:

And a response from Elsevier, which does not help.

Notable Replies

  1. That's a fairly large missing piece: there could be at least four non-white, non-male scientists that were segregated and excised from the picture. And if so...it's a complement, right?

    It's the final and most critical part of the whole panorama! These...are supposed to be the smart people?

    Unless the 'life sciences' being discussed are of the 'Pro' or 'Divinely Created' type; that would make more sense I suppose...

  2. It gets so much better: @TomReller from Elsevier defends the image by saying "You want me to apologize for the fact that more women don't win nobel prizes? And how exactly should I fix that today?"

  3. This picture shows a lack of sensitivity by one graphic artist working for a backward organization that has done more in recent years to impede the free flow of scientific information than just about anyone else I can think of. I don't know a single scientist who doesn't curse every time a paper they need is behind the Elsevier paywall.

    Women now make up close to 60% of all bio and life science degree seekers, at the bachelors, masters and PhD levels. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/education/edlife/where-the-women-are-biology.html?_r=0)

    It's quite obvious that Elsevier mostly wants to publish the work of scientists nearing retirement, a point they made quite well. Maybe the new best and brightest will publish somewhere open access, where their work will benefit humanity without carrying a parasite along for the ride.

  4. I'm guessing the same visionary who said "we want a jigsaw puzzle, but with a missing piece!"

    Their next promotion will feature a globe of the world with an arrow going around it, to show how they get submissions from all around the world.

  5. Gee, how about a random woman or person of color who has worked extremely hard in their field within science - who has put up with systemic racism, misogyny, and seen their own brilliant work be pillaged and plagiarized by inferiors and presented as their own ? Just because you sound like you are unfamiliar with what would be classified as obstacles and barricades that are unfortunately drawn along race and gender lines - does not mean that they do not exist.

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