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Franklin Jan 18th 2005 6:20 pm

Harvard looney
 
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...p?story=601986

Harvard president claims that women and science don't mix ...
Yoooo ... a very hot potato ... he's nuts of course ... Franklin co-discovered the structure of DNA and would have shared the Nobel Prize with Watson et al. but for the fact that she died before the Noble Prize was awarded. There are numerous examples of top class female scientists, one of them was my supervisor and later headed up biomolecular sciences at a university in Liverpool; the current head of BBSRC (Professor Julia Goodfellow) is a top class scientist who happens to be a woman, her work made her a top professor at Birbeck in London (part of London University). Prof. Julia Goodfellow used applied mathematical techniques to model the dynamics of molecules, particularly "large" biopolymers such as protein molecules; so the Harvard President is quite wrong to say that women are genetically unable to master the application of math in science; there are some really fantastically gifted female architects too, Zaha Hadid comes to mind.

Why does Harvard keep this guy?

Brit'n'TX Jan 18th 2005 6:28 pm

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Patent Attorney

Why does Harvard keep this guy?

because he keeps them in the news? :D

Franklin Jan 18th 2005 7:38 pm

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Brit'n'TX
because he keeps them in the news? :D

"Oh yeah". He's a beaver at putting Harvard on the front burner! :D Mostly for the wrong reasons. :(

Patrick Jan 19th 2005 2:15 am

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Patent Attorney
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...p?story=601986

Harvard president claims that women and science don't mix ...
Yoooo ... a very hot potato ... he's nuts of course ... Franklin co-discovered the structure of DNA and would have shared the Nobel Prize with Watson et al. but for the fact that she died before the Noble Prize was awarded. There are numerous examples of top class female scientists, one of them was my supervisor and later headed up biomolecular sciences at a university in Liverpool; the current head of BBSRC (Professor Julia Goodfellow) is a top class scientist who happens to be a woman, her work made her a top professor at Birbeck in London (part of London University). Prof. Julia Goodfellow used applied mathematical techniques to model the dynamics of molecules, particularly "large" biopolymers such as protein molecules; so the Harvard President is quite wrong to say that women are genetically unable to master the application of math in science; there are some really fantastically gifted female architects too, Zaha Hadid comes to mind.

Why does Harvard keep this guy?



Well for the most part its true, its a fact that has been known for years. The way the female brain is made up it is less adept to mathetical appliance, the male brain is less adept at language skills and this is why on the whole girls do better at English in school and boys do better at the sciences and math. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. Genetically the male and female brain work differently, this is why a woman can stand the pain of childbirth. The male brain is very analytical, generally a male can only do one thing at a time, where as the female brain can multitask. The fact that maths and science are generally analytical in nature lends itself to the male brain and away from the female brain.

So the Harvard President was right in what he said, whether he should have said it and set himself up for the press attacking him is a completly different story. I really don't know what the fuss is about, this is not a secret.

Franklin Jan 19th 2005 3:09 am

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Patrick
Well for the most part its true, its a fact that has been known for years. The way the female brain is made up it is less adept to mathetical appliance, the male brain is less adept at language skills and this is why on the whole girls do better at English in school and boys do better at the sciences and math. Obviously there are exceptions to every rule. Genetically the male and female brain work differently, this is why a woman can stand the pain of childbirth. The male brain is very analytical, generally a male can only do one thing at a time, where as the female brain can multitask. The fact that maths and science are generally analytical in nature lends itself to the male brain and away from the female brain.

So the Harvard President was right in what he said, whether he should have said it and set himself up for the press attacking him is a completly different story. I really don't know what the fuss is about, this is not a secret.


I think you are more in tune with stereotypes than reality on this one. I have worked with some very good female scientists (I had one as a supervisor) who were very sharp and very analytical. It was pretty clear that Rosalind Franklin was way ahead in scientific brainpower and ability than James Watson (re: solving the structure of DNA); Crick was very sharp too, so don’t want to ignore him … Franklin outperformed Wallace too, in fact Watson and Crick plotted to get information on Franklin's latest experimental results - it was her detailed work and x-ray diffraction pictures and that provided the physical evidence of the helical nature of DNA.

http://omega.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/ray/dna/franklin.htm

Franklin's work was incredibly important, a fact that Watson later acknowledged; Franklin's work was seminal and her pictures blew away the triple helix model supported by Linus Pauling (a double Nobel prize winner). Solving the structure of DNA was one of the biggest breakthroughs in science, and it was Franklin's analytical mind that got the x-ray pictures. Watson's and Crick's work was based on Franklin's work; the only reason Franklin didn't share the Nobel prize with Watson, Crick and Maurice Wallace was because she died - her research involved a lot of dangers and it probably killed her. From Franklin came the carbon fibre technology that find's many uses (including Formula One racing!). Watson behaved very badly and took a lot of the credit that belonged to Franklin, he attended her seminars to bring to Crick what he learnt from Franklin's results. Watson even tried to get Wallace to spy on her. The behavior of Watson (and also Crick) was very bad, they took Franklin's work and failed to proplerly acknowledge the importance of her lab results. It later came out in Watson's book, The Double Helix.

Science now is far more interdisciplinary; there is a huge need for scientists who can cross the traditional scientific boundaries and essentially multi-task different scientific principles to reach a desired end result. The head of BBSRC (the current version of the old SRC, Science Research Council) is a woman, Professor Julie Goodfellow who mastered applied mathematics to model biopolymers such as proteins. Goodfellow crossed over physics/math/biology/computing boundaries. Her projects took up hours upon hours of supercomputing time – such was the number crunching demands of her projects. Professor Janet Thornton (also from Birbeck College) is simply brilliant and multitasks very well. Science is no longer a single man’s pursuit, that died like yonks ago, scientific research demands multitasking skills, supervising lots of research projects simultaneously and using various big science research tools to get results. The big breakthroughs frequently involve multidisciplinary teams; thus you make the case for women being better than men in contemporary science.

Chemistry is a hard science area, and women chemists are doing very well in that area, but the institutional pressures keep many women from reaching the top of their game. It is very unfair that women get penalized for taking some time off to have a child. This is fundamentally wrong and leads to women giving up science, not because they lack the mental capability (far from it) but because they are unfairly worn down by the system that arbitrarily penalizes them; the pay in science is so low that it is hard for wife/husband scientists to afford decent childcare, and some women just don’t like the idea of not bringing up their children. That women are fully equipped to do very well in the hardest disciplines is supported by the fact that there are increasing numbers of women studying to be medical doctors in British medical schools. But whether they reach the top of their chosen field is sadly still in question because of institutional policies that inherently disfavor women.

Patrick Jan 19th 2005 3:22 am

Re: Harvard looney
 
I did say that there where exceptions to the rule, maybe I should of been more exact and said that there are exceptions to the rule so please don't write one of your very long, very uninteresting replies. I am an engineer, I worked with many good female engineers (and one really shit one), it doesn't change the fact that the way a man's brain work is more adept to math and science and the female brain is more adept to langauges. Pointing out that Rosalind Franklin is a maths whiz is not going to change 100 million years of evolution.

I excell at maths and science, physics and maths where my favourite subjects and my engineering degree was 90% pure maths yet I can't spell for shit. Brit in Texas is good at English (or at least correcting others) I bet he isn't good at maths. My brain is anylitical and his is not. Mine is a more genitically made up like a mans and his female (this makes me no more a man or him more of a girl) but it does show that brains are made up to more adept at thing over the other. Womens brains are normally more like B n T and mens are more like mine. But there are women who have anylitical brains and men who have brains that are less analytical, and thats it, there is nothing more exciting than that!

The fact women do not excell in Chemistry because they take time to have babies is a social problem and should be addressed by society and nothing to do with whether women are adept at science or not.



Originally Posted by Patent Attorney
I think you are more in tune with stereotypes than reality on this one. I have worked with some very good female scientists (I had one as a supervisor) who were very sharp and very analytical. It was pretty clear that Rosalind Franklin was way ahead in scientific brainpower and ability than James Watson (re: solving the structure of DNA); Crick was very sharp too, so don’t want to ignore him … Franklin outperformed Wallace too, in fact Watson and Crick plotted to get information on Franklin's latest experimental results - it was her detailed work and x-ray diffraction pictures and that provided the physical evidence of the helical nature of DNA.

http://omega.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/ray/dna/franklin.htm

Franklin's work was incredibly important, a fact that Watson later acknowledged; Franklin's work was seminal and her pictures blew away the triple helix model supported by Linus Pauling (a double Nobel prize winner). Solving the structure of DNA was one of the biggest breakthroughs in science, and it was Franklin's analytical mind that got the x-ray pictures. Watson's and Crick's work was based on Franklin's work; the only reason Franklin didn't share the Nobel prize with Watson, Crick and Maurice Wallace was because she died - her research involved a lot of dangers and it probably killed her. From Franklin came the carbon fibre technology that find's many uses (including Formula One racing!). Watson behaved very badly and took a lot of the credit that belonged to Franklin, he attended her seminars to bring to Crick what he learnt from Franklin's results. Watson even tried to get Wallace to spy on her. The behavior of Watson (and also Crick) was very bad, they took Franklin's work and failed to proplerly acknowledge the importance of her lab results. It later came out in Watson's book, The Double Helix.

Science now is far more interdisciplinary; there is a huge need for scientists who can cross the traditional scientific boundaries and essentially multi-task different scientific principles to reach a desired end result. The head of BBSRC (the current version of the old SRC, Science Research Council) is a woman, Professor Julie Goodfellow who mastered applied mathematics to model biopolymers such as proteins. Goodfellow crossed over physics/math/biology/computing boundaries. Her projects took up hours upon hours of supercomputing time – such was the number crunching demands of her projects. Professor Janet Thornton (also from Birbeck College) is simply brilliant and multitasks very well. Science is no longer a single man’s pursuit, that died like yonks ago, scientific research demands multitasking skills, supervising lots of research projects simultaneously and using various big science research tools to get results. The big breakthroughs frequently involve multidisciplinary teams; thus you make the case for women being better than men in contemporary science.

Chemistry is a hard science area, and women chemists are doing very well in that area, but the institutional pressures keep many women from reaching the top of their game. It is very unfair that women get penalized for taking some time off to have a child. This is fundamentally wrong and leads to women giving up science, not because they lack the mental capability (far from it) but because they are unfairly worn down by the system that arbitrarily penalizes them; the pay in science is so low that it is hard for wife/husband scientists to afford decent childcare, and some women just don’t like the idea of not bringing up their children. That women are fully equipped to do very well in the hardest disciplines is supported by the fact that there are increasing numbers of women studying to be medical doctors in British medical schools. But whether they reach the top of their chosen field is sadly still in question because of institutional policies that inherently disfavor women.


Gross50 Jan 19th 2005 3:24 am

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Patent Attorney
I think you are more in tune with stereotypes than reality on this one. I have worked with some very good female scientists (I had one as a supervisor) who were very sharp and very analytical. It was pretty clear that Rosalind Franklin was way ahead in scientific brainpower and ability than James Watson (re: solving the structure of DNA); Crick was very sharp too, so don’t want to ignore him … Franklin outperformed Wallace too, in fact Watson and Crick plotted to get information on Franklin's latest experimental results - it was her detailed work and x-ray diffraction pictures and that provided the physical evidence of the helical nature of DNA.

http://omega.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/ray/dna/franklin.htm

Franklin's work was incredibly important, a fact that Watson later acknowledged; Franklin's work was seminal and her pictures blew away the triple helix model supported by Linus Pauling (a double Nobel prize winner). Solving the structure of DNA was one of the biggest breakthroughs in science, and it was Franklin's analytical mind that got the x-ray pictures. Watson's and Crick's work was based on Franklin's work; the only reason Franklin didn't share the Nobel prize with Watson, Crick and Maurice Wallace was because she died - her research involved a lot of dangers and it probably killed her. From Franklin came the carbon fibre technology that find's many uses (including Formula One racing!). Watson behaved very badly and took a lot of the credit that belonged to Franklin, he attended her seminars to bring to Crick what he learnt from Franklin's results. Watson even tried to get Wallace to spy on her. The behavior of Watson (and also Crick) was very bad, they took Franklin's work and failed to proplerly acknowledge the importance of her lab results. It later came out in Watson's book, The Double Helix.


no offence meant, could it be that you went to one of the uni's in london that has never forgiven watson & crick for their cunning discovery. And till today the story is told to every new freshman who joins the college.

my opinion is that, Franklin was good in radiology but she failed to decipher her slides and she gave out what she thought was useless but turned out to be the most interesting bit of her work.

Franklin Jan 19th 2005 6:48 am

Re: Harvard looney
 

Originally Posted by Gross50
no offence meant, could it be that you went to one of the uni's in london that has never forgiven watson & crick for their cunning discovery. And till today the story is told to every new freshman who joins the college.

my opinion is that, Franklin was good in radiology but she failed to decipher her slides and she gave out what she thought was useless but turned out to be the most interesting bit of her work.


I'm not sure when the "phase problem" got solved and the exact time "fast fourier transform" was applied to x-ray diffraction data to convert the data into more meaningful patterns/images down to atomic level. But Franklin's work was seminal ... Crick sent Watson to listen in on Franklin's research findings, Crick was actually extremely angry with Watson for failing to take accurate notes. The truth is, Watson was not that sharp, Crick was well out in front of Watson, but had a few personality querks whereas Watson was a lot more socially aware and went on to "great things" ... Crick and Watson ripped off Franklin. Even Wilkins who did far less than Franklin shared the Nobel Prize with Watson and Crick ... quite an all male affair ... and for quite a while Watson and Crick excluded Franklin from the glory. Watson admitted later that he had badly treated Franklin. Crick knew precisely the importance of Franklin's research findings, that's why he was so annoyed when Watson failed to take proper notes ...


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