16 October 2013

Today in “What the hell is wrong with people?”: Me

Science blogger Danielle Lee was on the receiving end of bad behaviour. On the other hand, science blogger Bora Zivcovic engaged in bad behaviour. Priya Shetty ask the science blogosphere to explain the difference in reaction, saying of the latter:

But what about his fellow science writers who are normally a highly articulate and outspoken bunch? What explains either the deafening silence or the bizarre closing of ranks?

Insults are simple. Insults documented in pixels might even enter the realm of clear cut, or straightforward. In this case, I thought I could do something positive. I re-posted Dr. Lee’s (now restored) post about getting an insulting question.

Harassment is complicated. Harassment with only personal accounts, even when both participants agree in broad strokes about what happened, even more so. It’s hard to know what to make of the situation, what should be done, and what is appropriate restitution. In this case, I don’t know if there is something positive that I can do – yet.

Layer on top of that the tribal issues – who’s in, who’s out, who’s being attacked and who is doing the attacking – and you part of the explanation Shetty is asking about.

Update: Knowing what to make of the situation is getting less complicated.

More additional: Actions have consequences (part 1, I expect). Bora Zivcovic has quit the Science Online board.

Update, 18 October 2013: Yet another hard to read but important account of Bora Zivcovic’s bad behaviour has appeared. As is so often the case, just one tug starts to unravel more. And I still don’t know what I can say or do that would genuinely be positive.

More updates, 18 October 2013: Actions have consequences (part 2). Bora Zivcovic has resigned from Scientific American. This was the only possible outcome, I think. Where do we go from here? I don’t know.

Related posts

Today in “What the hell is wrong with people?”: Danielle Lee’s story

External links

Another Sexual Harassment Case in Science: The Deafening Silence That Surrounds It Condones It
This happened
The insidious power of not-quite-harassment
Two stories: One man got away with it — will the other, too?
Confronting Sexism in Science Communications – Link round-up, added 21 October 2013

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