Sunday, June 10, 2018

Liberal science priorities: huh wut?

Question: What is the biggest priority to the Federal Science Minister of Canada? Getting more science done in Canada? Getting more money for more science? Developing more/bigger/better facilities and infrastructure for more/bigger/better science?

Answer: Nope. Gender bias.

Question: Seriously, gender? Are you fucking kidding me?

Answer: Nope. Gender. And you better report for some sensitivity training there, comrade.

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan has made it clear that gender equity in science is a big priority for her. And now she's looking beyond universities to scientists employed by the federal government.

Duncan said in an interview in Toronto this week that she has asked science-based departments in the federal government to collect demographic data about their staff...

Should we have seen this coming?

Gender equity is something Duncan, a former medical geographer who studied diseases like the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, has already shown she is passionate about.

"As a former scientist who happens to be a woman, it was not always easy, and I spent 25 years fighting for diversity in research," she said. Last year, she wrote an opinion piece about her experiences, including being paid in the bottom 10th percentile at her university and being told it was because she was a woman.

"We know that diversity and research excellence go hand in hand," Duncan said. "We need different ideas, different perspectives."

She gave several examples where male-dominated research has let women down, such as voice-recognition software calibrated to male voices, early airbags designed for men that injured women and children, and the first artificial heart valves, designed to fit a male-sized heart.

But her passion isn't driven purely by pragmatism. She also cited stories she didn't expect to hear about — the negative experiences that women are still having in science.

"A lot of young would women would come up and cry in my arms, no exaggeration. And I was determined that I would take action."

Yes, we should. You vote Liberal, this is what you get.

Now, don't forget that the NDPee [spit!] would be doing exactly the same thing, but harder and faster. They'd have made it illegal to hire a man for any job in science until the numbers matched.

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