"For her skills, sure, I would love to be Rebecca Skloot. It would not keep me from staying hidden. If I want to be recognized, I have to aspire to be Carl or Ed."
Almost Diamonds: Hidden Women, Hidden Writers
This is unfashionable to say, but the above idea strikes me as complete and utter horseshit.
Skloot is a world-famous bestselling author who wrote one of THE most read, praised, influential pieces of science journalism of the last decade (at least). (Plus she’s been on Colbert!) Ed Yong (for all his talent, and it is a lot) is internet-famous at best. No, make that internet-famous among science bloggers. That’s like saying you’re king of the nerd table in a high school cafeteria.
Write the next “Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and this precious “recognition” will soon follow, you can bet on it. Of course, Skloot also marketed her ass off. But these two facts strike me as about three or four orders of magnitude more salient to achieving “recognition” than the fact of one’s gender.
Seriously: who gives a rat’s ass whose name appears first in the program notes at some science-blogger love-in? Not Skloot, I’d wager. She has more important things to worry (and write) about.
[Addendum, several hours later: Other, less strident voices have joined the conversation in my head. Right now it feels more like this. ]
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