I am a woman in Science and I love Instagram.
A Science magazine editorial argued that women who spend time instgramming their scientific research are essentially wasting time.
Somehow, if you try to find a beautiful aesthetic within your research, you are ultimately feminine, and in turn unprofessional.
In a discipline where we all agree there are far too many men, why should we judge those who choose to merge their interests in Science with Art and Communication?
I post here because I want people to understand what it means to be an archaeologist.
An archaeologist does worthwhile research that can help us contextualise the past and present.
An archaeologist is a scientist who integrates chemical, biological, and computer technology into their work.
An archaeologist isn’t treasure hunting. And when we go on fieldwork, it isn’t a fun paid vacation (contrary to the movies).
I am an archaeologist, and I am a girl.
This girl can travel by herself to a foreign country, walk alone across abandoned fields and up mountains, often over 20 miles a day in 100-degree weather, drive a stick shift, talk to farmers in a foreign language, and then come home and run computationally intensive processes to make sense of it all.
This woman in Science:
- … knows multiple spoken languages, as well as Python
- …is an expert in Geographic Information Systems
- …is running her own digital archaeological project
- And was awarded a lot of grants to do it because it’s worthwhile scientific research.
There aren’t enough women in STEM.
There aren’t enough women in landscape archaeology.
There aren’t enough women who know GIS what is, nevermind use it.
If I decide to try and do public outreach via Instagram, and spend some time everyday editing photos because I choose to, it’s my business.
I know how to manage my time.
I’m certainly not harming the discipline.
If anything, I am getting the attention of women and their daughters, and I will gladly answer the questions they have so that they can learn more.
Scientists are people.
Some people care about aesthetic, appearance, and honestly just having fun.
How that translates to unprofessionalism is beyond me.
Those who disagree should think about getting back to their own research.
Don’t worry about mine. I am on top of it.
You may also want to read:
Style is not anti-intellectual – Tee Ola
Fashion: why academics should care – Dr. Ben Barry
The Sartorial Science Project – Stylish Academic
All photos are the copyright of © Natalie Sussman