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Oct 14 2013

Ofek fired, Biology-Online apologizes to DNLee

Finally, someone does what should have been done as soon as the disgraceful behavior occurred. Now why didn’t SciAm immediately respond with this kind of vigor? Of course, we’re still waiting for SciAm to belatedly respond with any kind of condemnation.


The post that SciAm took down has also now been restored.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Inaji

    Yes, Carlie linked this in the other thread. Good on Bio-Online. :Looks toward SciAm, toes tapping, arms folded:

  2. 2
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I actually think that biology-online.org’s response – no immediate action beyond info gathering and internal, institutional discussion, first substantive action being the firing of Ofek, second being an apology to Dr Lee, third being a public apology – was sabotaged somewhat by Honee_v’s ethical excuse/ reasons justifying comment.

    However: nothing Honee_v said was a lie, and however much she included the possibility that those words could be used appropriately (say, when writing a post about how one was treated by Ofek) they made clear by their actions that Ofek’s behavior was so unacceptable as to constitute reason for immediate dismissal.

    While biology-online.org is responsible for the actions of its employees, they took that responsibility. SciAm is doing anything but the right thing to do. I had more faith in biology-online.org during this weekend than I had in SciAm. I don’t know that they will ever get it right.

  3. 3
    Samuel Vimes

    It may be uncharitably suspicious of me, but I wonder if this “Ofek” really was fired, or if he is just going to resume his duties under a different handle. That way he doesn’t raise a stink, and Biology-Online saves face.

  4. 4
    Al Dente

    Ofek is getting a job as a speech writer for Ted Cruz.

    /snark

  5. 5
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Seems very convenient that Ofek is a new hire who could be so easily dispatched which also easily redirects the heat that was coming down.

    But I’m a cynical asshole.

  6. 6
    rnilsson

    anat informed me on B&W http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/10/scientific-american-responds/#comment-689890 that

    Ofek is Hebrew for horizon. I’m guessing he’s Israeli. Looks like many of the editors of that blog do not speak English as their first language and do not come from places that are particularly egalitarian wrt gender. Maybe someone should have thought about that and given their editors some kind of orientation before letting them interact with others in the name of the blog.

    Convenient, if you want to disappear in a hurry.

  7. 7
    echidna

    It may be uncharitably suspicious of me, but I wonder if this “Ofek” really was fired, or if he is just going to resume his duties under a different handle. That way he doesn’t raise a stink, and Biology-Online saves face.

    This might seem strange, but to me the important thing is that what Ofek said is acknowledged as unacceptable. If he stays on but under the radar, it means that his behaviour is likely to be curbed, something that might not happen if he is just cut loose.

  8. 8
    Alteredstory

    Whether or not he was actually fired, I doubt it’ll be long before someone starts ranting about how DNLee “cost a good man his career over a verbal misstep” or something.

  9. 9
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Whether or not he was actually fired, I doubt it’ll be long before someone starts ranting about how DNLee “cost a good man his career over a verbal misstep” or something.

    Unfortunately you are probably correct. The MRA contingent is very “freeze peach”, which they interpret to mean anything and everything they say is without consequence in the real world. Shows you the delusional world they live in.

  10. 10
    The very model of a modern armchair general

    Weird how companies in similar situations always place the blame on an intern, or in this case, a newly-hired person. Either they need to reconsider their hiring practices, or else it’s a bullshit excuse, but I’ll try not to be cynical.

  11. 11
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Apparently the post has been back up for 3.5 hours.

    The editors note doesn’t have a word of apology, but I’m hoping another post from Mariette DiChristina is forthcoming.

    Not, y’know, hoping for a great post for DiChristina with an articulate apology that explains that story contradictions and a truly searching, thoughtful renunciation of their problematic actions in both censoring Dr Lee and in their public statements; no, I’m just hoping for something additional that might represent a small amount of movement.

  12. 12
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    The very model of a modern armchair general #10

    Ofek is the person who made the offensive comment. Pretty clear where the blame lies, in this case.

  13. 13
    dvizard

    Unfortunately you are probably correct. The MRA contingent is very “freeze peach”, which they interpret to mean anything and everything they say is without consequence in the real world. Shows you the delusional world they live in.

    What. Ofek’s behaviour, like, insulting a potential professional partner, is hopefully a fireable offense for any employer under any circumstances, be it towards a man or a woman, of whatever culture, and from an intern or a regular employee. I really can’t see anyone backing Olek here, MRA or not, but maybe I am overestimating humanity.

  14. 14
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    I notice that the Biology blog is not listed as a SciAm partner anymore.

  15. 15
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    Well, I won’t say that my faith in humanity is restored, since (a) I don’t think I had any before this and (b) this is pretty much the minimum they could do in the right direction, but it’s still a step in the right direction. I’ll take what I can get.

  16. 16
    tacitus

    Oh for goodness sake. Those who are “suspicious” about whether Ofek was really fired, or whether he was really a new hire sound like the right-wing conspiracy theory nutters from Infowars.

    There’s no real reason not to accept the firing and apology at face value. Why can’t people just be happy that the right thing was done for once, even if there was some fumbling on the way? (It happens.)

    The only thing I didn’t much like was the apology to Dr Lee, while it sounded sincere enough, it was very unprofessionally written. Doesn’t speak well for the company partner who wrote it.

  17. 17
    Cynickal

    I’m pretty sure there is some cognitive dissonance between “all misogynists must be protected” and “corporations will axe anyone at anytime to protect their bottom line”.

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