What do wine and maths have in common?

“Men are naturally seen as having more authority, whether or not they deserve it.”

“”I think it’s easier for people to believe that I don’t know things”

“I can’t really separate being a person of color from being a woman,” said Rao. “Sometimes as a critic that made me invisible in a way that was really beneficial. I was trying to pass unnoticed. Especially if I was with another woman of color, I felt like sometimes hosts didn’t notice us as much and servers didn’t pay as much attention to us. Even though it’s not ideal, it worked in my favor.”

“inextricably tied to each part of her identity, not just her gender. “I think it’s a conflux of things. I’m also a racialized person, also a queer person, also young, so a lot of these things intersect to really inform the way other people perceive me,””

“For Rodell, there is some tension between her roles as  a mother and a critic. ” . “There’s so much written and talked about already in terms of how hard it is for women to have any kind of high-powered or time-consuming career and have a family, let alone one that takes you out of the house at dinner time every night,” she said. “I don’t regret it because it is the way that I supported my family.” Still, she wonders if male critics get the same kinds of questions and guilt trips. “I’m sure that it’s tough on [male critics’] family too, but I do think that it’s a fairly new phenomenon that men are really expected to participate in the domestic life of their families.”

“I don’t think that there’s gender equality at this point to say that there’s a lot of partnerships out there where the male partner would be happy to do that.”

“Not everyone had stories of […] sexism at the ready. “I don’t feel discriminated against, and I don’t feel that people have given me special treatment because I’m a woman. I’ve always been a feminist, and I think it’s a really good thing that I don’t feel in my line of work that my gender has stood in my way at all.”

“Ho has noticed from the mail she receives that some do assume she’s the one with a bias — against white men.”

“He said, ‘It seems like he had many of the same conclusions you did, so I’m starting to think what you said may have been true.’ I was just floored.”

“Women have better palates than men,”

quotes from: “No one suspected me”: Women food critics dish on dining out for a living. Salon, 2 Feb 2020


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When scientists choose motherhood

There are many more complications in the “choice of motherhood” topic than the article explores, but it is a good and important article nevertheless. Open access.

Williams WM, Ceci SJ. When Scientists Choose Motherhood: A single factor goes a long way in explaining the dearth of women in math-intensive fields. How can we address it?. Am Sci. 2012;100(2):138–145. doi:10.1511/2012.95.138


What to do with a PhD in maths?

I love the humorous illustration of this blog post. Compared to other subjects, mathematics degrees actually offer a huge choice of employment options – or so everybody believes. But if you are a mathematics graduate who hasn’t figured out the wilderness of the job market yet, things might look much more confusing!


And here is another useful link:



RIP astrophysicist Vera Rubin

More sad news for the end of 2016: one of the world’s famous astrophysicists, Vera Rubin (1928-2016), passed away on Christmas Day. 

Rubin worked under Richard Feynman (how lucky is that!) when she studied at Cornell. She got her PhD in 1954 from Georgetown university – because her first choice, Prinston’s astrophysics programme, did not admit women at that time. For her groundbreaking discoveries in astrophysics she got many prizes but her contribution to the discovery of dark matter was overlooked by the Nobel prize committee.

Read more about Vera Rubin’s life here: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/27/us/vera-rubin-dark-matter-astronomy-obit-trnd/index.html


Savilian Professor Nigel Hitchin reflects on his life in mathematics

Fascinating autobiographical interview about the life of a mathematician!

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Backre(action): nice blog

I like this person. She sounds fun. And she tackles a stereotype head on, without being afraid to acknowledge which bits of that stereotype may actually be true. Nice little read.


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An unusual mathematician’s biography…or not

“For the first 27 years of his life, the mathematician Ken Ono was a screw-up, a disappointment and a failure. At least, that’s how he saw himself. The youngest son of first-generation Japanese immigrants to the United States, Ono grew up under relentless pressure to achieve academically. His parents set an unusually high bar. Ono’s father, an eminent mathematician who accepted an invitation from J. Robert Oppenheimer to join the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., expected his son to follow in his footsteps. Ono’s mother, meanwhile, was a quintessential “tiger parent,” discouraging any interests unrelated to the steady accumulation of scholarly credentials.



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