Seriously, Nature?

First there was Womanspace, which basically said “Hey Nature readers, isn’t it funny how your wife is good at shopping and you, middle-aged man who is representative of all of science scholarship, are not?”

Then there was the recent publication of a letter from Lukas Koube pointing out that there are more male reviewers because women leave science to stay home and have kids. NBD; don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m gonna go ahead and reproduce that letter that you’ve hidden behind a paywall.

“The publication of research papers should be based on quality and merit, so the gender balance of authors is not relevant in the same way as it might be for commissioned writers (see Nature 504,188; 2013). Neither is the disproportionate number of male reviewers evidence of gender bias.

“Having young children may prevent a scientist from spending as much time publishing, applying for grants and advancing their career as some of their colleagues. Because it is usually women who stay at home with their children, journals end up with more male authors on research articles. The effect is exacerbated in fast-moving fields, in which taking even a year out threatens to leave a researcher far behind.

“This means that there are likely to be more men in the pool of potential referees.”

Now there is a senior Nature science editor outing Dr. Isis, an anonymous science blogger/junior faculty member who called him on his shit and thus pissed him off. Clearer recap here.

Slow clap, Nature. Slow clap.

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