Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Susan (
8 Aug 1996 16:20:57 GMT (Bryant) wrote:
>In article <4u5dhq$>, Susan <> wrote:

>>3. On a related subject, your example of Watson and Crick is an
>>interesting one, only because of the unsavory aspects of sexism which
>>permeate it.
>>regarding the structure of DNA from a female scientist (Rosalind
>>Franklin) and never bothered to acknowledge her contributions until years
>>after winning the Nobel prize.
>That's a nit, since this whole
>discussion is a tangent at best to the thread on social bias and the
>content of scientific theories.

I did say that, in all fairness. This whole issue doesn't invalidate the
conclusions of Watson and Crick, but it did strike me as an ironic
example, given the topic at hand.

>>course doesn't invalidate their conclusions, but it is ironic that their
>>work would be cited in the context of "objective" scientific research.
>In my opinion, it is ironic that you just revealed that you've never
>opened an intro biology textbook.

Why does some web discussion so quickly dissolve into insult? I didn't
insult anyone that I'm aware of, I just thought it somewhat ironic, and
wondered if people were aware of this issue. I have, in fact, opened any
number of intro biology textbooks, which simply tell the Crick and
Watson story-- no side bars, no special sections. I didn't check their
copyrights, but they are currently being sold at the bookstore here.
Perhaps they are not the ones you are looking at, but there seems to me
no particular reason to get sarcastic. You could simply have asked which
books I was looking at, since the ones you have do in fact acknowledge
Franklin's contribution. We might then have had a discussion about the
pros and cons of particular books, what biases they have, etc. But those
who fling insults often simply get insults in return, and that just
stifles honest discussion.

>I didn't say that Francis and Crick were fair, integrity-minded, or
>egalitarian. I said that their model of DNA has no social bias. Point,
>if you will, to the molecule in their double helix that justifies sexism.


True, you didn't. And as I've already stated, I'm not sure their
conclusions have explicit social bias (though I do think they reflect a
particular world view). I just found it an ironic choice. It was good to
know that those who are in this particular discussion are aware of this
issue. Most of the people I know, particularly undergraduates, are not,
hence my interest in raising it.




"Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps."
-- Emo Phillips