Women scientists speak out against gender bias on Twitter with #Girlswithtoys

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 19, 2015 16:12 IST

Twitter exploded. Again. This time after Shrinivas Kulkarni, an astronomer and professor of Indian-origin at the reputed California Institute of Technology, made a casual remark in an

interview with NPR

on scientists being "boys with toys".

The interview itself was casual, discussing nothing more than the scientist's life and hobbies (which includes rearing rabbits). The interview even ends with Kulkarni exploring the idea of becoming a bartender.

But it was the gender remark that resonated with users of Twitter. It touched on the gender bias in science which many believe is a product of centuries of cultural conditioning on the role of women.

The reputed journal Nature said in an


that overt or unconscious bias against women is an insidious problem that deters them from the field of science. For some, Kulkarni's remarks are proof of the deep-rooted bias that cuts across cultures.

Women, mostly from the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), responded on Twitter with the hashtag #Girlswithtoys along with images of them with machinery, test tubes and telescopes.

Here are some of those tweets:

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