Interstellar Sights and Social Rights

We have the first image of a black hole, and it took a lot of computational power and cleverness to generate it. Great! Holy crap, yes! I’m proud of scientific progress! Katie Bouman and her team did an amazing job!

What’s less amazing isn’t the reporting that Dr. Bouman was the technical lead on the team that created the first image of a black hole — that part’s amazing, remember — but that everyone’s freaking out about making sure we all remember that a woman did it, and we should promote her name, and so on.

I get it; science reporting (and reporting in general) have systemically undermined and downplayed scientific contributions by women. I understand that. But we live in an enlightened age, yes? Let’s just say, “Dr. Katie Bouman and her team calculated the first image of a black hole” and leave that in its glory. Anything further is a bid for reparation.

I love equality. Love it. I’d rather we carry on about her accomplishment, and not bother with the exasperation of making everybody ardently aware that a woman did it. If you want equality, just say she did it. But if you only want reparation, then fine, say a woman did it. Not Dr. Bouman, but a woman.

Please don’t betray her story. This is a moment of scientific progress, and she was an important part of that.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?

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