Another hostile work environment

Good grief. Scientific American actually pulled DNLee’s post from their site yesterday. Wow.

I knew it was gone, because I clicked links to the SciAm post via three different tweets of DNLee’s and each one got a 404 – but I assumed it was a glitch, not a removal. Then DNLee tweeted the link to Isis’s post, and I put SciAm behind me. But now, also via Isis, via a comment at PZ’s, I learn that Scientific American deliberately took the post down and explained on Twitter why it doesn’t want it. Isis gives the details:

I was glad later in the day to see that DNLee had posted about her experience on her Scientific American blog.

Then I went to lab meeting, came back, and the post was gone. Vanished into the ether. Rumor circulated around Twitter that it had been pulled. I talked to DNLee and she very graciously provided me its content to post and was classy as fuck about what had gone down, refusing me any additional comment.

But she Googled, and discovered that Biology Online is part of the Scientific American Partners Network. So…protect the partners, is that the deal? Bad move, SciAm. Majorly fuck you type of move.

And, Isis found the smoking tweet.

sciam response

 And then Isis delivers a truly glorious telling off.

You see, science is about discovery, yes. But, more importantly, at its core science is about discovery with integrity. It’s about accepting data for what they are, even when they challenge our view of the world. It’s about reporting your conclusions, even when they are not popular and create conflict. Science is about chasing the truth and uncovering more of that truth with each new discovery. Not obscuring it.  I became a scientist because science is about honesty and curiosity and that little moment of excitement when you’re holding something brand new and you can’t wait to show it to the world.

I have a vision of what science should look like. When I close my eyes, I see a community where we are fascinated by the world around us. Our core value is, indeed, discovery, The more senior of us extend our hand to raise up those more junior than us.  We mentor them, care for them, love them, and protect them. We respect and value that our diversity makes us stronger. We empower those folks to feel like super heroes, because they are. They really, truly are. More so than any character, these folks have the power to shape our future for the better.

What you’ve taught me today is that you do not share my values. You may post glossy, sexy pictures of science, but you are not interested in discovery. You do not value truth, honesty and integrity – the core values that I hold most dear as a scientist.  Most importantly, you did not empower my friend.  You shut her down when she shared that she had not been respected. You put the dollar before the scientist.

I can’t read you anymore, Scientific American because there is truly nothing scientific about you.

What I can do, is to support my friend and fellow scientist and I can ask my fellow readers and scientists to join me in boycotting your publication.

Bad, bad move, Scientific American.


  1. says

    We had already decided to let the family SciAm subscription lapse, but this is just one more good reason not to renew. Sad, it was a good magazine once.

  2. says

    I decided to let my subscription to SciAm lapse after Michael Shermer had his snit over Ophelia’s comments about his “it’s more of a guy thing.” But just a few months ago, I put SciAm blogs in my RSS feed because Dana Hunter’s Rosetta Stones blog resides there. As of today, I’ve taken SciAm blogs back out of my feed, especially since Hunter points to all her Rosetta Stones pieces here on FTB and so having SciAm blogs in my feed was mostly redundant (I haven’t seen much stuff on other SciAm blogs that really grabbed my interest, but that may be just me).

  3. says

    Stephanie, I’m sure there’s a lot of great stuff at SciAm blogs, it’s just that from what I’ve seen on their feed for the last few months, it’s not great for me, right now. Like a lot of others I’ve seen comment lately, my interests have turned from general science, technology and even skepticism towards a focus on social justice and atheism. Hell, I’ve got a psoriasis information website that’s gone stale for years because my interests changed. By “that may be just me,” I really meant, “that’s just me.”

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