12 May 2010

CSWA fodder

Today I was searching for an email from a collaborator/advisor in my gmail account. I typed in her last name, "Lastname" (okay, it's not actually Lastname), and then realized that i was on google buzz so it searched that instead of my inbox. There were several stories linking to a press release about an exciting science result and then there was a blog entry talking about it. I took the time to read it because I was interested in how the public digests this information, as it's the same field that I'm in. First of all he didn't understand *something*, but what bothered me was something else. I noticed that the (male) blogger referred to my collabordvisor as "Ms. Lastname" and "Miss Firstname". Note, she most definitely has a PhD. What I wonder is if it were a male scientist who had made the discovery had the press release, would he have referred to him as Mr. Lastname? Or Mister Firstname? I find that highly unlikely.

4 comments:

Joyce said...

I know that sometimes newspapers (e.g. New York Times) have the convention of not using the Dr. title for people who aren't real medical doctors, because people outside of academia might get confused.

julie k h said...

Right, but the NYT doesn't call someone with a PhD Miss Julie, so I think there's more to it in this instance.

amydove said...

How obnoxious - I have noticed that in everyday life now that I am a young female Doctor myself. It's especially annoying when students call you Miss. And Andrea says that at the IAU general assembly meeting in Brasil the Brasilian politicians referred to the President of the IAU as Miss Firstname. Obnoxious! Newspaper articles tend to skip titles altogether. Such as "Firstname Lastname is very cool. Lastname says that she rocks."

Joyce said...

Someone told me that NYT actually did refer to people with non-medical PhDs as Mrs./Ms. Lastname and Mr. Lastname ... but I haven't really bothered to check it out for sure.