15 Sexy Scientists (with pics, of course)

by Luke Muehlhauser on July 16, 2010 in Science

Originally, this post had photos of 14 sexy female scientists, along with a #15 joke entry: P.Z. Myers. I took down the list because of this.

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{ 132 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin July 16, 2010 at 5:35 am

You could add Abbie Smith of scienceblogs.com/erv.

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Reginald Selkirk July 16, 2010 at 6:31 am

“Evolutionist”? Is that anything like evolutionary biologist?

Also, shouldn’t they at least be out of graduate school before they have the label “scientist” pinned on them?

Summer Williams seems to be an engineer, not a scientist. (When you step into the arena with scientists, you will find yourself facing many pedants)

I object to the characterization of PZ Myers as “young.”

“Hospital scientist”? She studies the science of hospitals?

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zak July 16, 2010 at 6:59 am

Reginald,

I’d let Serena Kamber be my hospital scientist any day.

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Andy Walters July 16, 2010 at 7:15 am

Haha, brilliant post, Sir.

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Hermes July 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

Reginald Selkirk beat me to it. Laura Spinney is an ecology and biology graduate student. Her Princeton profile does not say what specific degree she intends graduating in, but either biologist or ecologist gradiuate candidate would be reasonable. It’s like calling a physicist (grad or undergrad) a Newtonian physicist.

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Zeb July 16, 2010 at 7:42 am

Is math a science? Because geek crush-object par excellence Winnie Cooper of The Wonder Years (Danica McKellar) got a degree in math and has published a few popular math books and one professional paper.

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Palaverer July 16, 2010 at 7:52 am

Wow, disappointing. Because sexy automatically equals female, right? Way to pander to your male readership. If people want atheism to be less of a boy’s club, they should stop treating it like one.

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Hansen July 16, 2010 at 7:55 am

Oh dear, you may be in serious trouble now for placing Sheril Kirshenbaum on that list. ;)

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Hermes July 16, 2010 at 7:56 am

A few things;

1. If outies don’t do it for Luke, then how would he properly judge?

2. If you have recommendations, give them.

Along those lines, if Danica McKellar is on this list her photo should be this one for triple geek props;

http://www.wolfgnards.com/media/blogs/photos/celebrities/Danica-mckellar-leia.jpg

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Grad Student July 16, 2010 at 8:10 am

Where’s the dislike button?

(I second Palaverer’s comment.)

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Hermes July 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

What’s wrong with putting up your own recommendations?

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

Reginald,

Lots of evolutionary biologists call themselves evolutionists, including Dawkins.

Yeah, I don’t know what hospital scientist is, but she’s too hot to leave out.

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

Palaverer,

I’m not pandering to my male readership. I’m pandering to me.

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Palaverer July 16, 2010 at 9:04 am

Hermes, I’m capable of recognizing what other people find attractive even if I don’t share that attraction.

Luke, it’s your blog and you’re free to do what you like with it. This is one of my favorite atheist blogs. But as a feminist and atheist, I am disappointed when one group I care strongly about marginalizes the other.

We are all attracted to human forms of some kind and there’s nothing wrong with that. For me, the problem with a post like this is that, rather than celebrate human sexuality, it reinforces the cultural notion that women are valueless (regardless of career choice or ideological stance) unless they conform to a rigid notion of physical attractiveness.

If you enjoy looking at these women, that’s fine. But posting this shows a disrespect to your female readership by exhibiting willful blindness to the hardships they face in being taken seriously in academic pursuits. You could have gotten around that by being more inclusive.

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Ajay July 16, 2010 at 9:56 am

“…it reinforces the cultural notion that women are valueless (regardless of career choice or ideological stance) unless they conform to a rigid notion of physical attractiveness.”

“But posting this shows a disrespect to your female readership by exhibiting willful blindness to the hardships they face in being taken seriously in academic pursuits.”

I express genuine confusion about all this. When did Luke say women are valueless outside their physical appearance? Wasn’t the point that these women are beautiful and also…scientists? And I don’t think it’s reasonable to infer that a frivolous post on beautiful women really exhibits “willful” blindness to women being taken seriously in academia. How did a simple compliment generate such animosity?

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Hermes July 16, 2010 at 10:03 am

Hermes, I’m capable of recognizing what other people find attractive even if I don’t share that attraction.

Great. Glad your capable.

Luke’s intent was clear to me; people aren’t cardboard and can be celebrated in multiple dimensions simultaneously. Case in point;

http://scienceblogs.com/aardvarchaeology/2008/07/skepdude_beefcake_calendar.php

That took me 30 seconds to find, and I’m not offended by it on any level.

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 11:53 am

Palaverer,

I hope you’ll comment on my new post asking ‘Am I sexist?’

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ERV July 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Well, I *do* do biochemistry, but technically Im getting my degree in Micro-Immuno, but thats only because they cram us virologists anywhere, I really do evolutionary biology/population dynamics in the context of retroviruses.

:P

Also, thats a crappy pic of me, LOL! B00BS!

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Charlemagne July 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

yo Lukeprog… i’m not blaming or accusing you, i mean you are who you are and you are attracted to what you are attracted to, but…

if atheists hope to spread the idea of free and critical thought into a wide spectrum of communities, it would help if the same homogeneity that exists in the religious world were not also sooo obvious in the secular world of free thinkers as well… #imjustsayin

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Charlemagne,

I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying it would be nice if I were ‘freethinking’ and not attracted to women with a waist-to-hip ratio of .7, with clear skin and big eyes?

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Charlemagne July 16, 2010 at 5:16 pm

@lukeprog

funny. your feigned misunderstanding of my point,actually places emphasis on my point. its easier to dismiss the comment than take a google moment or 2 to seek out some ethnic diversity for this particular post. why should you..? you arent racist… you have plenty of Black friends and you love Jay-Z and Darius Rucker… ;-0 trust me, I get it. its not your job to make everyone happy, comfortable or welcome. its your blog, you post as you wish. i just thought you may appreciate the feedback.

but thanks for at least replying.

peace.

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Charlemagne,

There’s no feigning here. I genuinely am not clear on what your point is. Could you rephrase?

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Charlemagne July 16, 2010 at 5:30 pm

my bad. i’ll rephrase:

there are indeed some non-white/european sexy women scientists on the planet. it would be nice if you included some of them – i do grant the asian woman.

there is an old saying: “the most segregated day in America is Sunday”. if atheists had regular meetings — based on what i see on the internets — we’d be lumping the atheist/free-thinking communities right in with that saying.

i’m just trying to encourage you to think outside the box, outside your lane or comfort zone. take it, or leave it alone.

that is all.

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lukeprog July 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Charlemagne,

I’m just not aware of non-white sexy women. My favorite women in the world are actually darker-skinned Latinas, as it happens. If you can point me to some sexy non-white scientists, I will most gladly add them to the list.

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mookiemu July 16, 2010 at 7:52 pm
PhysioProf July 17, 2010 at 7:29 am

You are a seriously fucking creepy fuck-up, holmes.

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Kobayshi Maru July 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Hey Luke-

Seeing as how you’ve posted a picture of my girlfriend and partner of 4 years, how about sending me a picture of your significant other so I can either post it to my own website where I can discuss her attractiveness or lack thereof, or just wank to it at my leisure? I’ll also take pictures of daughters (legal age only please), cousins, or any other family members. Thanks very much. I look forward to your email.

PS- if you find this post to be the least bit skeevy, imagine how these women feel when they run across themselves on your little oggle-fest. Sack the fuck up and apologize already.

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lukeprog July 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Kobayshsi Maru,

I took pictures that are already online and put them together in a list. Just to be clear: is that the objection? That I took public pictures and put them altogether with the word ‘sexy’ at the top?

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Charlemagne July 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

@Kobayshi

you are being a tad bit trollish arent you..? seeing as each of the photos is linked from a public website…

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Kobayshi Maru July 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Luke, I think perhaps you’re being dense on purpose, as flipping through the comments you seem to like playing ignorant. If not, please direct me to a place online where I can ogle your wife/girlfriend/sister/whatever. I’d appreciate it. If not, kindly explain why not.

Char- actually no I’m not trolling, I’m being honest, sarcastic, and trying to make a point all at the same time.

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Isis the Scientist July 17, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Are you shitting me with this, dude?

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Eugenie July 17, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I agree with Kobayshi Maru’s sentiment- sure, these pictures may be on the public domain, but not for the purpose to be complied into a “sexy scientist” list. Totally out of line, and skeevy. Not to mention the lack of respect!

Just think, when one of these women go to apply for some job and the potential employer googles their name and THIS shows up in one of the hits? Poor taste.

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Kobayshi Maru July 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Eugenie-

That is one of my points. And from the people I’ve interacted with, sig other not withstanding, a lot of the good ol’ boy network doesn’t get how the internet functions. They literally would look at something like this and make a judgment about HER. “Oh, this is what she spends her time doing on the internet? This is what all that blog shit gets her? She said it was for outreach. Look at how she’s wasting time that could be spent in the lab or writing grants.”

And if they’re polite, that’s as bad as their thoughts would get. If they’re not, you get shit like “Top 10 hottie scientists on an atheist website? Frankly this chick is a whore. I’m bringing this up at the next tenure meeting because I don’t want to work with somebody who has no morals and sluts around like that, projecting this sort of image of my department/school/religious institution/whatever.”

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Charlemagne July 17, 2010 at 7:10 pm

ridiculous.

if someone is thorough enough in their googling/binging/Wolfram|Alpha-ing to find this blog post then surely they understand the internet enough to know that your sig other or any of the other individuals featured here probably had nothing to do with its authoring.

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Reality check July 17, 2010 at 7:51 pm

You may think that, but you would be wrong. People who ONLY read the internet–especially older generations–are often pretty damn clueless about what goes into writing it.

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broken finger July 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

my thoughts are 1, dude shoulda asked each woman if they minded being included on the list first. i think this list was a good idea, but the polite thing to do would have been to ask. besides, some of the women may have had better photos to use than the ones he found.

2, public domain is public domain. it doesn’t matter what “purpose” you had for the photo originally. welcome to the internet.

3, some people are really over-reacting. Kobayshi, you’re girl is either really upset and you are defending her honor…or you’re really insecure. if the former, that’s cool. you’ve made your point now. chill. if the latter, well…that just sucks.

4, if a prospective employer has a problem with atheists, why would you want to work for them? why would you worry that a bigot might think you’re a slut? that’s what bigots do! they think stupid thoughts!

5, this goes back to 1 and 4: not everybody wants to be “outted” as an atheist. dude shoulda asked if these women were ok with being on the list.

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Tim July 17, 2010 at 8:48 pm

@Kobayashi Maru: I can understand why you want the picture of your girlfriend taken down.

But perhaps you can see that it’s not a black-and-white issue. (For example, Abbie Smith (erv) is happy to have her photo on the list.) It’s not crystal clear that everyone, or even all women, think that it’s objectively bad to have their photo on the list. There is, at least, a case to be made that the all the photos were already available, and Luke did nothing immoral by collating them. Yes?

You are asking Luke for consideration, not exercising a right. So, I don’t understand why you couldn’t ask nicely. That’s how you get results when asking for consideration — by showing consideration.

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lukeprog July 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

broken finger,

One thought: I didn’t say these women were atheists. I have no idea if they’re atheists.

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CS July 18, 2010 at 1:38 am

Luke, I agree with Eugenie. I can’t speak for all the women, or any of them necessarily, but as a woman and a grad student in the physical sciences, I would feel more uncomfortable and disappointed, rather than flattered, if I saw myself on this list. In general, I don’t think it sets a good precedence for how women in science are viewed. It’s hard enough for me to be taken seriously and to have people focus on the quality of my /work/ instead of my gender and/or appearance. I think you probably didn’t intend it, but this post undermines that, especially for younger women who are just establishing themselves in their fields.

I would feel slightly more comfortable with this post if 1) you asked all the women for their permission and 2) you also explained how these women are doing important work. That way the subtext would be more than, “whoa, sexy scientists” but perhaps “here are some women who are attractive, and this does not preclude them from being excellent scientists!” “Sexy female scientist” is already an archetype on tvtropes.com; unfortunately, “competent female scientist” is not. Focusing on the second would be rather more progressive.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 2:06 am

CS,

Thanks for sharing your view.

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UNRR July 18, 2010 at 6:08 am

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 7/18/2010, at The Unreligious Right

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PhysioProf July 18, 2010 at 7:26 am

Whether this d00d has the “right” to do whatever the fuck he wants with publicly available photos on the Internet, doesn’t mean he isn’t a creepy fucking skeezbag deserving of scorn and derision from decent people.

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ERV July 18, 2010 at 7:45 am

I would much rather someone google my name and discover that someone finds me attractive (considering I fully appreciate the PR and public outreach/education aspects of science), than find a blog filled with vapid mental masturbations and pictures of shoes.

*blink*

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Kassie July 18, 2010 at 8:19 am

I am tired of women being portrayed like this. What does it take for a woman to be recognized for her mind? Why even do a post like this? Grow up and start treating women like people rather than objects of lust.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 8:41 am

Kassie,

You’re tired of women being portrayed as beautiful? I’m not.

This is a post about sexy women. So it portrays women as sexy.

If you want a post about their ideas, read about about a woman’s ideas. Like this one. I won’t be posting any sexy pics of Martha Nussbaum (especially from when she was younger), because the topic of that post is her ideas, not her attractiveness.

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jeez angry feminist July 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm

“what does it take for a woman to be recognized for her mind”

Invent something impressive/discover something. Simple as that.

However, that does not turn on a man in the same way a guy inventing something useful would do to a chick. Looks determine the sexiness of a girl,the “i want to mate with you” part of the mind, while there are different factors to attract women.

Really. The girls complaining about this, are simply those that cannot come to terms with the fact that guys care about looks much more than a woman, in terms of the opposite sex.

Hey, if a girl is a great scientist, I would hire her/want to work with her. However, that does “not” mean i would date her. She also needs to be cute and charming(the girls way…not at all like a guy, which some feminists dont understand)

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jeez angry feminist July 18, 2010 at 2:18 pm

plus, these people whining about him not selecting very many non white people.

Its “his” list of who he finds sexy. People tend to find women of their own race sexier than the other races. Its simply biology.

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jeez angry feminist July 18, 2010 at 2:24 pm

This reminds me of the uproar of famous female athletes in mens magazines.

A female olympic skier was on the cover of a mens magazine in her bikini.

The guys didnt care about dating her just because she was a great athlete. In fact, they would rather not, if she did not have a pretty face.

Get over it ladies.

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SLC July 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Re ERV

Well, I got called all sorts of names by Ms. Smiths’ favorite schmuck, John Kwok, for having the temerity to refer to Ms. Smith and Ms. Kirshenbaum, amongst others, as hot.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Also, as it happens, latinas are my favorite. I just couldn’t find many latina scientists on a quick search. Ohhhhhh the irony of what happens when people make up shit and attribute it to me!

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Falafulu Fisi July 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

How about including in the list of sexy rocket scientists, women physicists as Dr. Maria Spiropulu (particle physicist at CalTech/CERN), Dr. Fiona Harrison (astro-physicist from Caltech/NASA & JPL), Prof. Nai-Chang Yeh (condense matter physicist at Caltech) and Lisa Randall (particle physicist at Harvard).

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Falafulu Fisi,

Those are some excellent candidates, but I think I’m in enough “trouble” over this list as it is. :) Thanks anyway.

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broken finger July 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm

luke, sorry about the atheist thing.

its about time somebody made a list of sexy scientist women. i’m sick of the constant misogynistic content here going on and on and on about their ideas and thoughts and work. its like all they are are intellectuals with university degrees to you people! what does a girl have to do to get recognized for being a girl?

i mean, it took years for the US women’s vollyball team to be acknowledged for something more than just their athletic prowess.

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Reading some of these comments makes my brain herniate.

Looks like Luke is yet another of those creepy guys who posted photos of women whose physical beauty he appreciates, which obviously means he’s a total sexist pervert – or something. So, for the heck of it, let’s examine what he did, shall we?

What did Luke do?Posted public domain photos of female scientists that he personally thinks are physically attractive in a post at his personal blog.

What did Luke not do?In any way demean their intelligence or accomplishments, imply that they were sluts, mock them, single them out for being women, or anything else that could realistically count as objectifying or sexualizing them.

How does one manage to be insulted at being called (or having other women be called) pretty? There is a very clear line between objectification/sexualization, and just saying, “I think this lady/these ladies is/are sexy”. It is a compliment, nothing more and nothing less. If you cannot comprehend said distinction, then the problem lies with you, not Luke. And calling him or his post skeevy, creepy, pervy or any such thing is just fucking ridiculous. Saying that the aforementioned women are pretty does not in any way deride their intelligence, accomplishments, or any other form of worth as human beings.

Sheesh, how some can be so easily offended over nothing at all. Don’t look for sexism where none exists. If saying that someone is physically pleasing is somehow skeevy/pervy/whatever, then every commenter here is a skeevy perv, because every human does it, whether by mentioning someone in a crowd, buying a drink for a pretty person in a bar, or compiling a short, tepid list on a personal blog. It’s the same principle, just a different setting.

Oy vey.

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Charlemagne July 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm

@Joe McKen

Bravo.

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confused woman July 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Fabulous post!!
So many people think that a woman with a pretty face *must* be incapable of intelligible thought.
Not only are these women intelligent by academic standards but they are also attractive by social standards. For those who are featured above and have posted, it also seems like they have personalities – as opposed to simply being a one-track minded geek.
I don’t see a problem with this in the least!
If anything, it shows that you CAN be smart and beautiful – how is that a bad thing?

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thanks Joe,

I’m tempted to make a list of the hundreds of ways people here and on other blogs have explicitly misrepresented my stated views, often even erecting strawmen which said the opposite of what I explicitly claim. Quite exhausting.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Thanks, confused woman.

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confused woman July 18, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I still do not understand all of the uproar about this. Sure, I can see how some women may be a little bit upset about having their photo taken off the internet, but why is it a PROBLEM to call someone attractive and smart?
If anything, these women have shown society that you can be BOTH. This is atypical of western thought.
Attractive women are bimbos, secretaries, waitresses at Hooters or trophy wives. At least that’s the stereotypical thought of our society.
These women are intelligent and happen to be very pretty, breaking past the gender roles of our society in science AS WELL AS the stereotypical societal view.
How long ago was it that women were not allowed to go to medical school? How long ago was it that only males were allowed to be attorneys? Before the creation of Enovid (the first birth control) only a very small portion of females were allowed to reach graduate degrees, and the majority of women who did go to college went “to get their Mrs.”

Enovid was put on the market about 50 years ago. We cannot expect society to change the “pretty girls are dumb” view overnight, nor within 50 years.

In addition, psychological mating patterns show that men want to be with someone who would produce healthy offspring. That is an instinctual drive. Our societal views have been changing over the years to also include “intelligent” to the preference for offspring in addition to them being healthy.

What we have here is a list of several women who fit both criteria.
Again, HOW is this an insult, derogatory to women or demeaning?

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Just a quick note to mention that I’ve written up a blog post on the very matter, basically just showcasing my previous comment, above, but also expounding on the whole “women have the right to choose whether to be stared at” aspect when it comes to the Internet and the nature of public domain content.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Joe,

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, but…

Have you seen what I’ve been subjected to? This is not a fight you really want, I think. :)

Prepare for the straw men!

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Bah. Takes more than some false claims and strawmanning to bug me, so don’t worry about me. Those, I just ignore in favor of intelligent discussions.

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Christ Davis July 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Comrade Physioprof is a professional White Knight. You may disregard his insults.

And, Abby for the win ! Brains, beauty, balls. Also brunette.

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Cedric Katesby July 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Loved the list.
Getting out there and making a career for yourself in science does not make a woman ugly, doomed to wear hideously thick glasses and condemned to eternal sexlessness.

Ignore the brain-dead detractors who clearly have not thought this whole thing through.
Being sexy is good.
Being smart is good.
Being both smart and sexy and having people acknowledge and celebrate the fact is great.

The only genuine possible hang-up might be from women who didn’t like that particular public domain photo.
I’d recommend contacting each person in turn, checking to see if they had any objections and asking if they wanted to perhaps volunteer a better photo.

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blueshifter July 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

NERD ALER- oh, Hi Serena… you come here often?

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Mutating Replicator July 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

What, no Olivia Judson? Surely she would be a fine replacement for the dubious #15!

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Michael Over Here July 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm

‘Public domain’

You keep using that phrase but I do not think it means what you think it means. Someone owns the copyright of these photos and most likely in many of the photos the women signed a release form for a particular use. It would be one thing if you used scientists who were at least semi-famous but many of these women are grad students.

That’s what makes this creepy. The author didn’t bother to do any research or include any information for the audience to communicate how accomplished of scientists they were. So it’s not ‘here are a bunch of scientists with a short bio and a sexy pic’ but rather ‘here’s an literal soft core porn picture followed by a picture that I don’t have the rights to publish of a woman who I’ve never talked to oh and also her major.

There’s a right way to do this and a creepy way. This post is the latter.

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

@Michael Over Here —

Are you aware of this little doctrine called ‘Fair Use’? In case you aren’t aware, anyone can use any portion of any copyrighted content, just so long as A) they give proper identification of the subject and/or source(s) and B) don’t make any money off of it. So, in effect, using photos found online for your own works (such as a blog post) is perfectly legal in that respect, and what Luke did is fully legit. Also, the age of the women-in-question is irrelevant.

Secundo, what does it matter that Luke mention just what they’ve accomplished? He’s already included their names and line of work; if anyone is curious enough to find out just what it is they do, they can Google it for themselves. His goal was to include photos and a cursory description of who they were, not their life story. Your argument is nonsensical.

And as for your claim that these pics are practically softcore porn – wait, seriously? Do you know what softcore is, or are you just one for ridiculous hyperbole?

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Spanish Inquisitor July 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

It SAYS 15, but I only count 14. Unless you’re counting Goofy.

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I herein wish to note that I realize my previous description of what constitutes ‘Fair Use’ is overly simplistic, but I don’t think that point needs arguing any further.

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Michael Over Here July 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

I think that there is a strong argument that this doesn’t count as fair use and my photographer friend agrees but fair use is far distant from ‘public domain’ which is the claim made of these women’s photos.

I wasn’t making an argument based on these women’s age but rather their actual accomplishments and scientific qualifications but I guess my standard of scientist is slightly higher.

Lastly, there is a cheeseball softcore porn picture in the header of this article, which is what I was referring to.  Some women might dislike being grouped in with a picture like that and it definitely goes against the point that this post is taking advantage of women without any consent or communication.

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Kobayshi Maru July 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

It’s interesting that people see me as “defending my girl” or whatever. The not-so-subtle undercurrent of ownership is palpable in those sentiments, hence the real point of posting; highlighting the fact that men are entitled to objectify women.
“My girl” is quite capable of defending herself, TYVM, a trait I find much more attractive than, say, attention-whoring by posting pictures of one’s abs, tits and ass and pretending to be enlightened. However, I felt that it would be prudent of me to point out pigheaded male privilege where I see it, regardless of whether “my girl” chooses to post.

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Michael Over Here July 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Kobayashi, that’s the same reason I wanted to correct the term ‘public domain’ as if everyone publically owns the images of these women.

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TBnSuch July 18, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Be thorough, my friend.

Christina Agapakis
http://scienceblogs.com/oscillator/

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Thanks for your feedback, Cedric.

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lukeprog July 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Michael Over Here,

Yup, you’re right, I should have used a phrase like “public space” instead of “public domain,” which has a specific meaning.

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 8:44 pm

@Michael Over Here —

I will admit to my inaccurate usage of the term “public domain”. I tend to confuse it at times with what’s merely “publicly available”, so mea culpa. However, the point remains: Luke posted photos that are available for all to see online and used them for the purpose of commentary, including the addition of proper accreditation and identification. This is perfectly in line with Fair Use and, from a legal standpoint, simply cannot be credibly argued against.

Regarding the top pic: Yes, that could be (very loosely) qualified as softcore, but it’s really more akin to modeling than actual erotica. (Same with #7, who is the same woman, I just noted.) And one pic (or, at most, two) hardly turns the whole post itself into softcore material. And again, whether the women pictured give their explicit consent to have their photos used in this post is, at least from a legal standpoint, irrelevant. It fits under Fair Use; therefore, it’s legal. Regarding the ethics of their pics being used to show them off in a “sexy” light, I for one do not see the harm. As I said, Luke’s not saying that they’re just pretty airheads or possess no scientific value; he just paid them a compliment for their physical attributes, no more. It’s just not an offense unless you’re bent on turning it into one.

Oh, and @Kobayshi Maru —

The not-so-subtle undercurrent of ownership is palpable in those sentiments, hence the real point of posting; highlighting the fact that men are entitled to objectify women.

Bullshit. “Defending your girl/guy/mate” is not possession or ownership of another human being, unless you’re completely oblivious to that whole “submitting yourself to another in romance” thing, which is no more than a mere expression of two individuals’ love for each other. You know, the whole “I’m your man and you’re my lady” thing? That’s not ownership. You have some serious blinders on if you really believe it is, which is what your comment indicates.

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Mac July 18, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Joé McKen: “I herein wish to note that I realize my previous description of what constitutes ‘Fair Use’ is overly simplistic, but I don’t think that point needs arguing any further.”

OK – You’ve agreed that your argument that it was ‘Fair Use’ was based on ignorance rather than reality. So when you say “I don’t think that point needs arguing any further” are you agreeing that collecting the photos off the web in this way and presenting them here IS illegal under copyright law? Or are you saying that you don’t want to continue an argument that you think you’ll lose? Or that when the conversation is about someone doing something creepy, the fact that it is both illegal and creepy is kind of redundant?

But this question is to the original author:

Are you honestly saying that you couldn’t find this behavior slightly creepy? Some guy you’ve never met collecting pictures of your sister and posting them up his website as ‘People I find sexy’?

Sure – some people wouldn’t mind. Which is why you could have avoided this by simply ASKING them first !

Is there some reason you didn’t do this?

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Joé McKen July 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm

@Mac —

More like, “I’ve already made my point any any minor oversight in my explanations is irrelevant as it does not detract from my argument.”

I am not a lawyer, but I am sufficiently knowledgeable of the Fair Use doctrine to know what is generally acceptable and what is not. Using photos from public sources (ie. anything that can be found on Google is usually acceptable) for the purpose of commentary (which is plainly what creating a list of this nature falls under) with the proper accreditation and identification included (which Luke verifiably did) is perfectly in line with Fair Use. If you believe I am mistaken, do point it out rather than using faintly cloaked condescension.

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Somacandra July 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I would suggest editing the blog entry to include links to peer-reviewed published papers, abstracts or books for each of the women you are highlighting. It would be nice to read about the exciting things they are doing in their fields. :-) Also, not that it matters much, but the site’s tagline quote from Stephen Roberts at a minimum doesn’t apply to polytheists or henotheists, as they are more than happy to accept the existence of other-than-human sacred Persons that they don’t interact with. Peace.

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Michael Over Here July 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm

You’re misconstruing what I wrote to say that I thought anything beyond the first photo is softcore. Nevertheless it’s not really cool to list photos of non-porn stars with porn stars and is pretty blatantly objectifying women (but at least with the atheist list he listed was made up entirely of celebrity who are generally seen as to have consented to be publicly commented on: http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=5926 )

The standard of commentary for what constitutes ‘fair use’ (along with what constitutes ‘scientist’) is actually a bit higher than what you think it is. This post adds practically no additional commentary beyond just a list. I believe that legally merely listing has not been found to be adequate commentary. Additionally although the author notes the name and (we’ll say) profession of the subjects of the photos it doesn’t give any attribution of the photographers. Attribution of the artist is actually what is needed for fair use. Also subjects generally do have some amount of rights and that’s why we get them to sign release forms.

At the very least I would say that it’s rude to post other people’s photos on your blog, especially if you don’t credit the artist or contact the subject. Especially if you’re talking about sex. Being conscientious is actually pretty easy.

Unless anyone wants to discuss something further with me I’ll just end with that I don’t even understand the point of the post in the first place. Is there really a stereotype of female scientists not being sexy that needed to be disproven? I can’t understand the need to make a list, with literally no additional commentary of non-celebrity women (who can assume a certain amount of privacy) who meet your proclaimed very particular standard of sexy and posting it for all the world to see.

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confused woman July 18, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Why does it need peer reviewed published papers to PROVE they are intelligent? Is their information on the links not sufficient to show they have beauty and brains? You need proof of research materials? Do you ask for such things from your primary care physician, nurse practitioner or any other person with credentials whom you may see?
I didn’t think so.
Why is it necessary here?

While I can agree that using a photo with permission of the person photographed could be an objection, each of these photographs is linked to the website from which they were obtained, which includes their information.

Which, by the way, if you use any information from any source, you are to cite the source. These are cited.

Did Luke ask permission to link to a website? No.
Are we supposed to ask permission to link to a website? NO. Copyright laws do not require such.
Are we supposed to ask permission before distributing matter obtained from a book, magazine or other source for which people pay? YES.
Do you have to pay to see the photos linked? NO.

I’m still not seeing the problem… These are cited photos, linked to their credentials, which happen to be on a public website. It does not violate copyright laws to my knowledge (I am not a copyright attorney, I simply have had to obtain permissions at least 100x in the last year for various projects).

Truly, I do not see why so many of you are so upset about this.

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Michael Over Here July 18, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Hm, I posted a response but it’s not coming up. Maybe it’s stuck in the queue. Anyways, good night everyone.

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Barry July 18, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I know that this is a difficult list to put together but I absolutely think that Christie from http://scienceblogs.com/observations . I must say I’m totally in love with her, she’s sooo cute.

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Tim July 19, 2010 at 3:02 am

@Kobayashi Maru: Mine is the only post I can see that directly addresses you, so was your latest response a response to my post?

If not, then please disregard the following as it doesn’t apply.

You say: “The not-so-subtle undercurrent of ownership is palpable in those sentiments, hence the real point of posting; highlighting the fact that men are entitled to objectify women.”

Your vague phrasing obscures the difference between owning a person and owning a photo of a person. Perhaps this was not deliberate; in any case I reject any assertion that I implied that you, or anyone, “owns” your girlfriend. The *photo* of your girlfriend, like all photos, *is* owned by some set of zero or more people.

I also have issues with the near-meaninglessness of the word “objectify”. But before I get into that I’ll wait for your response to the above.

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 3:08 am

You are all wrong. The most beautiful and sexy female scientist is, without a doubt, Dr Kirsten Sanford.

http://www.twis.org/Kiki_03-01-05-197.jpg

http://www.kirstensanford.com/

Dr. Sanford is an American research scientist in neurophysiology at the University of California, Davis. She also holds a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology from U.C. Davis. She is a science media icon – host of This Week in Science, Dr. Kiki’s Science Hour, Potential Energy, and the video program Food Science, among others.

And she holds a black-belt in Tae-Kwon-Do.

No need to objectify Dr. Kiki. She is the whole package. Women just can’t get any better than her.

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MikeTheInfidel July 19, 2010 at 4:07 am

Kobayashi Maru said, in response to someone saying “you’re [sic] girl is either really upset and you are defending her honor…”:

It’s interesting that people see me as “defending my girl” or whatever. The not-so-subtle undercurrent of ownership is palpable in those sentiments…

Dearest Mr. Maru, did you forget that earlier you said this?

Seeing as how you’ve posted a picture of my girlfriend and partner of 4 years, how about sending me a picture of your significant other…

“My girlfriend” and “your significant other” certainly sound like you’re expressing ownership!

*cough* Bullshit *cough*

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tiredofit July 19, 2010 at 6:10 am

I think a cheesecake photo of lukeprog is in order.

(Yeah: I’ve got a bingo card ready for the excuses.)

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caseywollberg July 19, 2010 at 6:16 am

Luke, I approve of this list, and I’m glad you’re not deferring to your detractors. Hyper-feminism is a mass movement, a faith, which starts with a belief system and a confirmation bias. This puts its acolytes in touch with realities we lesser humans just can’t appreciate.

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caseywollberg July 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

@ Cyberguy

Is that you, Justin? I think I agree with you, by the way.

signed,
TWIS fan

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Francisco Boni Neto July 19, 2010 at 6:53 am

This drama over these pictures is simply stupid. It denounces a lack of social ability or comprehension. These women are sexy and open about their sexuality, which is a horror case for most Abrahamic religions and, considering their position as knowledge holders, something which was exclusive to man in most patriarchal societies where the divine was, at best ‘angelical’ and asexual, and the feminine nature and sexuality considered evil.

You can learn more about the people complaining than the content of their drama

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Palaverer's Man and Master July 19, 2010 at 7:12 am

Hey Palaverer, get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich. Women don’t need to be spouting opinions. It’s a man’s world.

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Bawdybill July 19, 2010 at 7:43 am

Tasteless and unnecessary.

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Joé McKen July 19, 2010 at 8:04 am

@Michael Over Here —

You’re misconstruing what I wrote to say that I thought anything beyond the first photo is softcore. Nevertheless it’s not really cool to list photos of non-porn stars with porn stars and is pretty blatantly objectifying women […]

I apologize if I misread your original comment. The fact remains, though, that none of these photos, even the top one, counts as softcore porn. She still has her clothes on, for one thing, and a leery shot of her breasts does not erotica make, unless one’s standards for what makes smut or not are troublingly low.

Also, she is not a porn star; she is a scientist (the same as #7, Serena Kamber) and a modeler. Modeling is not softcore (or any -core), unless you wish to tell every other modeler that they’re also porn stars. I somehow doubt that they’d appreciate the thought.

Regarding the standards of what is deemed to be “commentary” under Fair Use, I have searched but so far have been unable to find any real criteria or “level” that any given commentary must reach in order to qualify. Which seems to indicate, to me, that any writing that could be deemed as commentary in any way – which a post of “I believe these women are sexy” – certainly qualifies for. Again, if you think I am wrong, do pull up the proper definitions or some such.

Attribution of the artist is actually what is needed for fair use.

This is new to me. From all I’ve read on the matter, simply crediting the source whence you obtained the content (ie. photos) from is sufficient; way I see it, the burden of providing further accreditation then falls upon them. I know that sites that use copyrighted content under Fair Use (notably, news websites) only mention the source entity of the photos, not (usually) the actual photographers and so on.

Is there really a stereotype of female scientists not being sexy that needed to be disproven?

Um … yes. Big capital-Y Yes. Such a stereotype most certainly exists; it’s practically omnipresent. No offense, but where have you been? It’s the archetype of the female scientist as being plain, frumpy, boring, or even ugly, that prompts such posts as Luke’s to begin with (other than, perhaps, mere appreciation). It’s the usual sort of thinking: That women are either pretty and ditsy, or brainy but unappealing. It’s a very commonplace and pervasive stereotype that only relatively recently has begun to be fought against in more mainstream avenues, so quite frankly, the more “top sexy female scientists” (or sexy scientists, period) posts we see, the better.

… Dammit, why is it my comments are always like novellas?

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Sigh July 19, 2010 at 8:11 am

Just for the record, some of you really have no idea what “public domain” means.

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

@caseywollberg

No, I am not Justin. I am another TWIS fan.

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J. Cook July 19, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Do you actually know these women or did you just internet stalk them? Did you ask their permission to link to their photos?

My impression of this post is that the author is young, sexually frustrated and bored.

Sexist — maybe. Creepy and lonely — definitely.

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J July 19, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Wikipedia says that fair use as a legal doctrine has four components to be considered:
“1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.”

As I am not a lawyer (nor, perhaps more usefully, a judge) am not an expert on this. However, based on some of the examples and case histories in the Wikipedia entry, I think this would fail on a ‘fair use’ challenge, and Luke could reasonably expect not only to have to take it down, but also pay legal fees.
(@Joe McKen take note)

In particular, I think this post could reasonable be said to fail #1 (“character of the use”) and #4 (“effect on the work’s value”).

Several other misunderstandings of “fair use” have been raised in the comments above. In particular, acknowledgment of the source does not make a use fair in a legal sense, and noncommercial work is not automatically fair use. Also, in the US, new work is automatically considered copyrighted, not public domain.

It behooves all of us to be careful about what we grab off the internet.

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lukeprog July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

*sigh*

Too many people want to judge without apparently knowing anything about me.

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Joé McKen July 19, 2010 at 12:54 pm

You expected any different? Don’t ya know we’re all sykolojists on the Web?

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

On the subject of fair use, it is clearly ok to provide a URL link to a publicly available image. After all, that is what the internet is.

Then how is it any different to render that same link as an image in the linking page, simply saving the user one click? The source image has not been copied, and in fact can still be removed from the source site which will remove it from the linking page as well.

I would like to see someone fight that in court – they would be a laughing stock for the rest of the world.

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Jill July 19, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Tacky and inconsiderate of these scientists, most of whom are working hard to maintain a professional web presence.

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Markle July 19, 2010 at 2:51 pm

This list is incomplete without Dr. Amy Mainzer. Astrophysicist, Deputy Project Manager for WISE, and Angelina Jolie doppleganger. http://i.ytimg.com/vi/9q7DbUCl6QU/0.jpg from the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q7DbUCl6QU&feature=player_embedded

If you prefer blondes, there is an astronomer that works at Rice University whose name escapes me. She’s frequently seen on science programs.

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lukeprog July 19, 2010 at 3:00 pm

WOWZA. Some people really hate lists of sexy scientists.

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Talisker July 19, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Is the post creepy? Maybe, maybe not. I would say that depends on Luke’s intentions, and I’m willing to take hm at his word that he meant no harm. But it is definitely tacky. Very, very tacky and tasteless. And childish. Grow the f**k up, Luke. We get that you lust after physically attractive women, and that you like and admire scientists. Neither is anything to be ashamed of, but posting a list of women who happen to fall into both categories is not big and not clever.

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Joé McKen July 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm

@Talisker —

Wait – where did Luke claim that his post was “big” and/or “clever”?

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 3:31 pm

There is nothing wrong with admiring someone for multiple qualities – including physical attractiveness. It’s subjective. Get over it people, and grow a sense of humour.

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Malachite July 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

“There is nothing wrong with admiring someone for multiple qualities – including physical attractiveness. It’s subjective.”

Wow, this sounds almost exactly like what my male supervisor said when he inappropriately touched me in the lab and could not fathom why I would be offended by such behavior.

“Get over it people, and grow a sense of humour.”

While I’m all for appreciating aesthetics and sexiness, this is absolutely the wrong way to do it. It’s NOT funny that a post like this could very realistically thwart someone’s chances for winning a competitive position at a university. He should have at least asked their permission. Not to mention that while lukeprog is probably a kind gentlemen, supportive of female scientists, we still live in a world where sexual harassment and discrimination are COMMON, and shit like this doesn’t help us move forward.

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Orwell P. Jones July 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

“lukeprog

*sigh*

Too many people want to judge without apparently knowing anything about me.”

I so hope you get sued. This post does reveal oodles about you babykins, don’t kid yourself you incredible jackass.

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I agree this is about appropriateness, and I am sorry to hear about your creepy lab supervisor. That was wrong.

But this list is not abusive nor illegal. Maybe, in a perfect world, permission could have been sought from the individuals concerned.

In your point of view, how should it have been done?

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Joé McKen July 19, 2010 at 4:29 pm

@Orwell P. Jones —

Oh, please do. No, really. Sue Luke over this. I cannot begin to describe the levels of mirth I will be experiencing when I see you go down in flames like the fucking legally-illiterate moron you’ve just revealed yourself to be.

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lukeprog July 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

*rolls eyes at Orwell P. Jones*

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Mac July 19, 2010 at 6:16 pm

@Joé McKen:” with the proper accreditation and identification included (which Luke verifiably did)”

Seriously? You believe that ?

Look at the top picture: sexy-scientist.jpg

Where is the credit? Can you tell me where the name of the copyright owner/creator of that photo is?

Copyright is about the rights of the creator of the photo – not the model. So tell me which of the photos actually list the name of the photographer.

Look at this from a ‘Fair Use’ point of view.

He wishes to create an article about sexy scientists.

So he has several options for that first picture:
1. License the image of ‘sexy-scientist.jpg’
2. Go to the expense and/or effort of creating his own photo
3. Simply use an existing photo without attribution

Reproducing an existing copyrighted work to comment on a wider social issue is *NOT* fair use – it has to be to comment on the copyrighted work itself.

So you can reproduce the photo to comment on the choice of lighting, etc. But not to comment on the person being photographed.

The first photo is a particularly gregarious copyright violation.

OK – nobody cares. It’s just the law. I understand that nobody gets excited following rules.

But when you say that you understand copyright law, yet blatantly mis-state it in your first post and then in your next major post you miss the basic fact that crediting the model being photographed is not the same thing as crediting the copyright owner of the photograph!

And there is no possible way that the first photo could be construed as ‘fair use’.

@Cyberguy: “On the subject of fair use, it is clearly ok to provide a URL link to a publicly available image. After all, that is what the internet is.
Then how is it any different to render that same link as an image in the linking page, simply saving the user one click? The source image has not been copied, and in fact can still be removed from the source site which will remove it from the linking page as well.
I would like to see someone fight that in court – they would be a laughing stock for the rest of the world. ”

Umm – no. You think the case hasn’t been fought?

It has. Think about the porn industry. They sue each other very successfully when another site grabs the images off each other and put them on their own websites.

The only non-success they’ve had is with thumbnail images. (The series of cases Porn publisher Perfect 10 attempted comes to mind)

But for non-thumbnail images the law (and history of lawsuits) is clear.

The fact that most people don’t bother suing over it shouldn’t be confused with the fact that a lawsuit would be successful. A lawsuit would be unlikely, though, because in the USA if you haven’t registered the copyright before the infringement occurred you can only get ACTUAL damages and an injunction. So spending a few thousands of dollars to get a moral victory is unlikely to happen.

@Kobayashi Maru
On a practical matter, if you are the copyright owner of the photo, simply file a DMCA notice against this webpage. He will basically have to then take it down or file a counter notice stating his exact reasons why he feels it is legally acceptable. If he doesn’t then his web-host will chuck him off. (That’s because the DMCA notice system protects web-hosts from being sued for copyright infringement)

I would like to see someone fight that in court – they would be a laughing stock for the rest of the world.

oint the crediting the person being photographed has nothing to do with crediting the owner of the copyright is

comment on the The purpose of the pho
or but chose not to was to show a Using photos from public sources (ie. anything that can be found on Google is usually acceptable) for the purpose of commentary (which is plainly what creating a list of this nature falls under) with the proper accreditation and identification included (which Luke verifiably did) is perfectly in line with Fair Use. If you believe I am mistaken, do point it out rather than using faintly cloaked condescension.

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Cyberguy July 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm

It is human nature to judge people by their physical attractiveness (among other criteria). And there are many ways people express this – in appropriate ways through to inappropriate or even abusive means. It is a continuum. The question is where to draw the line.

It is not logically correct to point to examples from the negative end of the scale, and say that everything else on the scale enables the bad stuff, therefore everything is bad. That is the fallacy of the “slippery slope” argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope).

This list is on a blog that links to other blogs and personal pages in existance already. The scale of this site is proportionate to the sites of the people linked. It is not as if it was some widely read magazine site that suddenly gives people massive unwanted publicity.

And the people listed are not being ranked or criticised in any way.

From http://www.nature.com/nature/debates/women/women_frameset.html – “The male orientation of science is unlikely to be the sole explanation for women’s under-representation. Widespread acceptance of a stereotyping of scientists and engineers as stolidly male from school to university level is likely to be important. The dearth of senior women scientists in the public arena means that girls have few role models with whom to identify, and few female mentors to encourage them. A further, deeply ingrained problem is that a lack of self-confidence is often a feature of young women aspiring to be scientists or engineers.”

So this blog is countering the common stereotype that intelligent women are nerdy and unattractive. Like it or not, this “nerdy girl” stereotype does deter many young women from entering technical professions such as science, engineering and IT. Supporting this point, many women avoid wearing glasses for exactly the same reason.

So you might find this list “tacky”. That’s your opinion. But it is not inappropriate.

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Mac July 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm

OOps – I had a whole lot of stuff at the end of my last post. (Snippets from previous comments)

But my suggestion to @Koboyashi Maru to file a DMCA notice if he’s the copyright owner of the photo is reasonable.

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Joé McKen July 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm

@Mac —

Except that he did link to the source for that first pic. It’s under #7, the exact same woman. IANAL, but I’m pretty sure you don’t have to link to the same source page for every single photo you use off of it. That would be a tad redundant, no?

Now, to settle this, here is how what Luke did fits in with Fair Use. Below are the criteria used by the courts to evaluate what does or doesn’t constitute Fair Use:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

Luke used the photos to illustrate what he means by those women being (what he considers to be) “sexy”, which plainly counts as educative commentary, one of the permissible clauses of Fair Use. Regarding commerciality, Luke isn’t making a dime off his post. Pass.

2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

They are photos that are uploaded online for all to see, share and use as they see fit (legally). Pass.

3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

Luke used single photos, one for each individual mentioned (including a second for #7, Serena Kamber, which he used at the top of the post), with proper identification and a link to the source of each photo. He did not replicate an entire gallery, nor did he use any other type of content to any extent. Pass.

4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Luke’s usage of these photos is not affecting the aforementioned women, their engagements or any type of “market value” they may have in any way. Pass.

The idea that any part of Luke’s post constitutes a violation of copyright law is ludicrous. I’ve explained why again and again, even taking the time to detail it all here (something I honestly didn’t believe was necessary). Now, if you have any reason to dispute any of this, then post whatever relevant legal description of what constitutes (or does not constitute) Fair Use and show how how Luke’s post clearly violates it.

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J July 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm

@Joe McKen- Um. I think you’ve got this one wrong.

“2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

“They are photos that are uploaded online for all to see, share and use as they see fit (legally). Pass.”

Photos that are online, published in a magazine (the first one and also the later one of Serena Kamber were published in the Sun UK tabloid) are NOT online for all to “share and use as they see fit.” Copyright protects the rights of the publisher/author/etc. Fair Use (which doesn’t quite apply the same way to overseas publications) is a certain type of defense, but does not allow anyone to copy anything found online for any purpose.

I think in this case it’s close enough to call it ‘fair use’ but I’d not want to test it, since there were no alterations made to the images, nor any real commentary, and merely “acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission,” according to the US Copyright Office.

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Talisker July 20, 2010 at 9:31 am

@Joe McKen: “Not big and not clever” is a British idiom which translates roughly as “you need to grow up.”

@Cyberguy: If a young woman is capable of making a career in science, she is probably smart enough to realise that being unattractive is not compulsory. It’s not as if they will be force-fed junk food and have all their fashionable clothes confiscated. OTOH, the prospect of being leered over by socially inept male scientists probably does put many women off a scientific career. In fact, insofar as there is pressure for women scientists to be frumpy, it is to have a defence mechanism from unwelcome male “admiration.”

An illustration of the problem in comic form: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=591

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Malachite July 20, 2010 at 10:33 am

@Cyberguy “But this list is not abusive nor illegal. Maybe, in a perfect world, permission could have been sought from the individuals concerned.

In your point of view, how should it have been done?”

Um, copying and pasting the email address that is surely available somewhere near all the photos lukeprog copied and pasted.

@Joé McKen: “Luke’s usage of these photos is not affecting the aforementioned women, their engagements or any type of “market value” they may have in any way. Pass.”

Wow, so you’ve really never witnessed how subjective and capricious the tenure process can be?

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Joé McKen July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

@Malachite —

Yes, I’m certain that those in charge will shake their heads in revulsion and deny her at one photo of her face being posted on a random guy’s random blog.

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Mac July 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm

@Joé McKen: “They are photos that are uploaded online for all to see, share and use as they see fit (legally)”

OK – Let’s look at a simple example – the top photo.

There are two things you could believe:
1. The Daily Sun uploaded that photo for all to use as they see fit -or-
2. The Daily Sun uploaded that photo for all to use according to the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of their website.

Which do you believe?

As far as I understand you believe that photos posted on the web are automatically marked by the person as ‘I wish this photo to be used for all to use as they see fit’.

But that is not true. If they wished to do that they could mark it with one of the CC licenses.

I understand the ambiguity if the website it was taken from had not specified the permissions.

But even when the webpage it was taken from EXPLICITLY STATES that they REFUSE permission for this type of use, you are still convinced that it isn’t a copyright violation !?

Why is that?

Mac

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Kate July 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

Ugh. You can protest all you like that you’re a progressive and right-thinking human being who values women for their intelligence as well as their beauty, but you know what? That doesn’t matter at all when you’re posting a list of 15 sexy female scientists, containing no information at all about their scientific work. This is about context. For generations women have struggled to be taken seriously as scientists, as political leaders, as business people, and while we’ve come a long way, women are still judged on their appearance much more than men are. Your post plays straight into that, regardless of what your feelings or intentions are. Want to help stop sexism in the world? Don’t post lists of accomplished women which ignore their accomplishments in favor of focusing on their physical attractiveness.

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lymie July 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Luke,

Oinkitude abounds!

Why do you want to piss off the very women you think are sexy? Stop and think, would any of them want to be your colleague after this?

Dumb cheeseweasel.

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Isabel July 21, 2010 at 9:28 pm

” lukeprog

Michael Over Here,

Yup, you’re right, I should have used a phrase like “public space” instead of “public domain,” which has a specific meaning. ”

Well that’s an understatement. Thanks Mac, for taking the time to explain to these rubes that just because something is posted on the internet it is not ‘public domain’.

Unbelievable!

Hahaha – “public space” oh that clears things up!

Hey Luke thanks for the educational commentary! I feel like my mind has been enriched, learning what floats your boat!

And yeah, attribution refers to the *photographer*, and as a photographer it really pisses me off when bloggers steal from photograpghers without a second thought. Someone oughta steal their work sometime. Hey maybe I’ll do that when I start my own blog! It will save me a lot of time. Whenever I see someone stealing photos for their blog, I’ll just steal some of their writing!

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Caitlin July 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

“I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying it would be nice if I were ‘freethinking’ and not attracted to women with a waist-to-hip ratio of .7, with clear skin and big eyes? ”
I think what we’re trying to say…is that it would be nice if you were ‘freethinking’ and were actually placing value on these individuals in non-stereotypical, not necessarily purely physical ways. This post disgusts me.
ditto to Kate’s comment.
I wish I could say ‘rot in hell’, but instead, let’s go with this: rot in your own mind and may women everywhere be sensible enough to see you clearly…and withhold absolutely everything from you.

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confused woman July 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm

http://sexyscience.blogspot.com/

Just thought you’d like to see that ;)

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Roxie July 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Hey,

Your apology is very cute. Thanks. Don’t worry anymore. We all have sometimes unexpected reactions to nice intentions. Have a wonderful weekend!.

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alek July 25, 2010 at 7:05 am

Kate: “”women are still judged on their appearance much more than men are”"

— what amounts to a basic railing about the basic fact that looks are more important to women then they are to men. That’s like, get over it and stop being so offended by reality.

Its funny how in the supposed atheist community there’s more sexual shame, hangups and denial of EVOLUTION, than in the freaking catholic church.

We notice looks a lot more than character first. We evolved that way. This freaking sexual shaming to get men to suppress their natural sexual instinct is worse than a religion. You know what? I don’t care if you’re master of the universe. I’m still going to notice your looks first. That’s like… Stop being offended by reality and work around, instead of trying to mold reality to your needs.

Women notice a man’s status first before anything else… Before his personality, qualifications… anything. In fact, as much as women are sex objects to men, in turn men to women are success objects. There’s as much science as you want about this. The very first thing women notice on men is the indicators of status he has (in body-language, posture, clothing quality, position in the room, attention from other women/men).

We’ve struggled for generations to be taken as more than a freaking provider. We too have other qualities in life than “kill bear, feed woman”…

At least we’re honest about our instincts. Studies continually show women for the most part follow cavewoman instincts as much as men (status first), except they don’t consciously know or admit it. At least we’re honest we look at T&A first. Women backwards-rationalize their choices.

A woman will treat two men completely different based on their social status… and if you ask her, she’ll backwards rationalize it by the color of the socks the men wore.

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Amy Alkon July 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm

“What does it take for a woman to be recognized for her mind?”

Putting out noteworthy science.

Great, no matter what she looks like, but all the better if she’s hot, too.

My hot list:

Dr. Catherine Salmon
Dr. Marti Haselton
Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky
and Dr. Helen Fisher, who’s got it going on in a Helen Mirren sort of way.

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Bret August 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

You know the scary thing is – your post isn’t archived on the wayback machine… in other words if you get bored with the blogging – there is no official archive of these posts (and unfortunately your list of pics which is what I went there in the first place to look at.
Makes you think eh? – in the past you could dig back into the journals etc and find things – now it all disappears.

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t-bag May 31, 2011 at 11:21 pm

Dude, Grow a spine and post what you like. Quit apologizing and censoring your own work. It’s weak. You’re letting trolls control your fate. Unless it’s all about the almighty dollar, you’re making yourself a hypocrite. If it is about the money, you’re still getting it wrong. It’s about how many people see your work, not how many approve of it. The only people i could even imagine disapproving of extraordinarily gorgeous and intelligent women would be the overwhelming majority of non-gorgeous, unintelligent women. Censor your comments, not your writing.

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Matthew Canty June 26, 2011 at 10:46 am

I’ll be honest, I wondered if like many other ‘sexy lists’, there might be a sexy scientists list out there. This came up top in Google, I clicked on it. I’m disappointed you’ve taken it down. And I’m disappointed in this site which I’ve never heard of until now.

‘Common Sense Atheism’… The first two words… Common Sense.

Seems like this site is getting a bit religious in its morals.

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