#StandingwithDNlee and I’m #StandingwithMonicaByrne

15 10 2013

By now, most of you know what went down over this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. If not click over to <a href="http://isisthescientist.com/2013/10/

    11/tell-someone-no-get-called-a-whore-standingwithdnlee-batsignal/”>Dr.Isis’s blog for the low down of how a WoC scientist was called a whore for asking to be paid to do her professional science job.

    When Dr.Isis sent out the batsignal, the majority of science bloggers, male, female, white and all other hues responded. They were pissed. This was an easy one to get right; really who name calls on email to a stranger?! Especially one who is a prominent and well known diversity advocate in the science communication sphere. I found out about the lovely little fuck up by some random editor via twitter, when some of my favourite tweeters were talking about brawls. In the few spare moments I had, I retweeted some of there very awesome posts on the matter. When I checked my Newsify, a lot of bloggers had reblogged DNLee’s original SciAm post. As you can see it’s now up and running. Through this weekend I kept wondering why Bora Zivkovic, the SciAm blog editor hadn’t said anything.

    I awoke this am with intention of also reblogging Dr.Lees post even if I was late to the party. I wanted to support my fellow scientist but I was distracted by this happened:

    UPDATE, 10/14/13: The man is Bora Zivkovic, Blogs Editor for Scientific American. There’s no reason for me anymore not to name him publicly, which I’d long wanted to do anyway. Reading about this incident is what reminded me (independent of whether or not he had anything to do with that post’s original deletion, which I don’t know).

    I was shocked at 6:00am. I didn’t know what to think. I know who Bora is, I was so excited when he started following me on twitter, bloggers who inspired me into this blogging endeavour wrote about how much they respected him. I quickly looked on my twitter stream and except for two tweets, I saw nada. Then I saw some of Dr.Isiss tweets. I read her post. I thought to myself “Is this why Bora hadn’t said anything about the DNLee situation?” I looked at Boras twitter feed and didn’t see anything.

    It was early in the morning, I had to get out of the house and into a busy day in the lab. Randomly during dinner and the kids bedtime I checked my Newsify / twitter feeds. There is no outrage or shock. Yes DrugMonkey and Odyssey had posts that made me think they were talking about it but they didn’t really make it clear that Bora had sexually harassed someone and used a lame ass excuse. Except of this tweet from @MarkCC, I haven’t really seen any outrage. Why? Where is it? Unless I’ve missed it. Perhaps all the posts have gone up in the 45 minutes it took me to tap this out on my iPad? Or is it because Bora still has power in the Sci Communication field? I mean I saw tweets of people saying they support their friend Bora. WTF?! I’m not saying he can’t be sorry or he isn’t remorseful and can’t be reformed, but that doesn’t mean you excuse or treat him lightly. As a person that has experienced sexual harassment, I call bullshit on the kid gloves that the community is using. I’m sure “odjek” friends and family think he’s a swell guy too. He’s probably going through “stuff” and wasn’t thinking.

    Sexual harassment does major harm and it does even more harm when the harassers colleagues know. Other PIs knew what was going on in my case, they “offered” sympathy. No one ever punished my harasser. It doesn’t look like Bora is receiving any either.



    4 responses

    16 10 2013
    On #standingwithdnlee and #standingwithmonicabyrne | Matters of Varying InsignificanceMatters of Varying Insignificance

    […] – ScientistMother, #StandingwithDNlee and I’m #StandingwithMonicaByrne […]

    17 10 2013
    19 10 2013

    Ah, I posted this comment on the wrong post! Here I go again. . .

    People are definitely talking about it now! Three women have now come out altogether to share their experiences. . . and Bora just resigned from SciAm.


    I think the initial silence was just. . . shock. It was easy for the blogosphere to pile on some no-name editor from a no-name website (is “ofek” even a real name? is it a pseudonym? And that whole website seems shady–there’s no masthead, no indication of any names of the real people behind it). On the other hand, everyone knew Bora. I don’t even know Bora, yet I feel like I kinda know him. I used to follow his original Blog Around the Clock off and on; I saw him build up the community at Scientific American. I think some of the advice he’s posted on how to become a science writer is the best I’ve ever seen. I think it’s really really hard for people to reconcile this statesman of the science blogging world with what’s now been revealed about his less savory side. If you look online now, you’ll see a lot of posts supporting the women who’ve spoken out and condemning Bora. . . by people expressing sorrow and support for him even as they condemn him. (I’m not on Twitter, so I don’t know what it’s like there).

    It’s hard. It’s hard to accept that someone who has done so much good for the science writing/blogging community–someone who by all accounts has been so generous with it–also used his power in ways that he shouldn’t have. I really don’t want to get into it all that much because I don’t know really know any of these people and it all just makes me sad. But it seems much of the initial silence was just that–shock and sadness and people trying to wrap their heads around this. Not necessary a sign that they were condoning any of it.

    It’s just. . . sad. All around.

    17 11 2013

    > beanwriter:

    Is Ofek the pseudonym for Mr Zivkovic, i.e. the same person that insulted Dr Lee as well as harassment of Ms Byrne and other women? The web site says that Ofek was dismissed, but without identification there’s no confirmation.

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