Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Taking the Geek out of Science?

I'm a bit frustrated by this story about Geeks driving out Women from Computer Science.

I'm all in favor of women in Computer Science, and Science and Technology jobs in general. I'm a big believer that these are good jobs and careers.

But I'm not at all comfortable with the idea that "typically geeky" stuff like video games and science-fiction stuff can not appeal to women. CONvergence, as a large Science Fiction convention, is evenly split between men and women. I know lots of women geeks -- some in technology careers, and some that aren't.

But I've tended to encounter more women through my science fiction geek travels than I do through most of my IT travels.

I certainly can't really evaluate this research based on this news story -- I mean, besides clearly getting the impression that Women Don't Like (and aren't) Sci-Fi Geeks. And that may be more a comment on the reporting than the underlying research. Because I don't believe that is at all always true.

Every convention I've been to in the past quarter-century have had at least a third female membership; many conventions are roughly balanced, and it's not hard to find conventions where women outnumber men. I don't think any disparity in IT careers can be attributed to adult social activities.

I believe that women are encourage to drop out of math classes in middle school. That's where you see class gender ratios change, and that's what pushes women out of science and computer careers. That has nothing to do with an interest in science fiction, which doesn't really have math skills as a prerequisite.
sorry to hijack. Michael can you tell me what happened to the Minnesota doctor who viewing society? I've been wanting for so many years to watch classic episodes with other fans and I thought maybe that now that doctor who was back on maybe that could happen.
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