If Male Scientists Were Written About Like Female Scientists

“A devout husband and father, Darwin balanced his family duties with the study of the specimens he brought from his travels.”

1. Twitter user @Daurmith has written short biographies for male scientists as if they had been written about women.

They were originally tweeted in Spanish.

Pierre Curie

Via en.wikipedia.org

Charles Darwin

Via en.wikipedia.org


3. They highlight how biographies of female scientists often feature their marital status prominently.

Richard Feynman

Tamiko Thiel / Via en.wikipedia.org

Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks/Douglas White / Via oliversacks.com


6. As well as their appearance.

«He had the body of an athlete and the face of a movie star. But Oliver Sacks chose science over glamour.»

— Daurmith (@Daurmith)

«Sassy and carefree Feynmann challenged social mores as he worked on his research. He broke hearts all over USA.»

— Daurmith (@Daurmith)

Isaac Newton

Via en.wikipedia.org

Erwin Schrodinger

Via en.wikipedia.org(1933).jpg


9. And thinly veiled surprise that anyone could be both a woman and a scientist.

«No one could imagine that behind Newton’s large eyes and frail appearance hid one of the most prodigious brains in the world."

— Daurmith (@Daurmith)

«His dour personality made everyone think he’d never marry. Even so, Schrödinger got a wife and a Nobel Prize."

— Daurmith (@Daurmith)

11. Daurmith, who wanted to remain anonymous, told BuzzFeed they wrote the bios because they were “a bit irked” by a piece about British poet Sarah Howes winning the TS Eliot Prize, which focused more on her looks than poetry.

“I got to thinking about that and about all the other times I’ve seen articles written about notable women in which their looks/makeup secrets/wardrobe advice were discussed, sometimes instead of – not besides – her work.

“I wrote the bios as an exercise ‘through the glass’, so to speak. I find it productive, and a bit cathartic, to use women’s tropes on men, à la Hawkeye Project. I didn’t want to achieve anything special and honestly thought they would get quickly lost.

“I find it charming that, when I translated the tweets to English, many people thought they were lovely and wished men were described more often like that. This didn’t happen with the original tweets in Spanish and gave me food for thought. I could have been nastier writing the tweets; I’m very glad I wasn’t. It gave me a different perspective.”

12. If you ever find yourself writing about a female scientist and don’t want to be mocked on Twitter, just follow these seven rules.

And for god’s sake, don’t mention beef stroganoff.

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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