About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New Rationally Speaking podcast: Women in Skepticism

No, this episode is not about "elevatorgate" or the Watson-Dawkins debacle, but we do use these recent (in)famous events as a springboard for a broader discussion of women in skepticism and science.

Is there a misogyny problem in the skeptic and atheist communities? Why aren't there more more women involved in these communities? Also, Julia tells us about her own experience as a young woman skeptic.


  1. I just wanted to come to Harriet Hall's defense-I think that Jen Mcreight's memory of Jenny Mcarthy "bending over in a bikini" in Harriet's presentation was not an accurate memory.
    Harriet did a good job of answering this on Blag hag over a year ago;
    Overall an excellent discussion though.

  2. Julia pointed out that some pseudosciences, like astrology, draw in more women than other pseudosciences, like cryptozoology.
    The same is true for science and technology. The latest Popular Science education issue gave the following gender breakdown for Bachelor's degrees:
    Engineering: 16% women
    Agriculture and Natural Resources: 30% women
    Computers and Math: 31% women
    Physical Sciences: 42% women
    Biology and Life Science: 55% women

    Why do so many more women go into life science?

    And if women are simply too busy for skeptical activities compared to men, why aren't women too busy for woo activities compared to men? Are women who prefer woo less busy than women who prefer critical thinking?

  3. An interesting corollary to the skepticism/atheism debate on female participation is this article about the gamer culture and sexism in it: . Most especially since a lot of skeptics are geeks and nerds of some sort.


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