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America Needs Scientists…

… but not so much that it needs to encourage girls to learn about science.

The notice below, urging parents to “Stimulate boys’ interest”, is from an advertisement for microscopes, telescopes, and other scientific equipment by Edmund Scientific Co. in the March 1958 issue of Natural History.

america needs scientists

4 thoughts on “America Needs Scientists…”

  1. Ella says:

    That is so typical. Here is an example: http://www.petalsandstem.com/fsb/?gclid=CIj9oq–oMUCFdcegQod0qMA8g Even the toy makers admit most toys are geared for boys.

  2. Mark says:

    Ella, did you notice the year of this announcement? We’ve come a long way since 1958, but we still have a long way to go.

    I’m proud of my two children who both seem to be breaking the mold of gender stereotypes. My son, a high school junior, is looking into entering nursing school after he graduates (with an eye of eventually becoming a physician’s assistant). My daughter is in the high school engineering program (she’s a freshman) and is excited about taking aerospace engineering next year. She has seriously considered becoming an astronaut.

    Our schools are doing all they can to promote STEM for girls. But still, my daughter was one of only 3 girls (out of 25 students) in her Intro to Engineering Design class this year. The schools provide the opportunities, but it’s up to the parents to counsel their daughters into pursuing education and careers in science and technology.

  3. J Clifford says:

    What’s more, those toys are geared for certain TYPES of boys. Some boys want to play with pink things. Some girls want to play with toy swords and balls. Recognizing diversity within genders is as important as recognizing that attention to just one gender is insufficient.

  4. Bill says:

    How well I remember the America-needs-(boy)-scientists meme of my youth. In 1962…I would have been in, what? Fourth grade? America was beside itself with anti-Russia hysteria…ohmygod they had launched a beeping soccer ball into orbit!!! And on Feb. 20th of that year all the boys in my elementary school were called in to an assembly to listen (via the PA system) to the launch of John Glenn and Friendship 7…while the girls were shooed into a separate assembly, presumably to talk about lady-parts and female-trouble, all very hush-hush.

    I went home that afternoon and announced that I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up, and that’s exactly what happened. Most of the girls in my class whose lives I subsequently followed became nurses, teachers, librarians, or housewives. Lord knows how much raw scientific talent our nation lost by thinking that only men could be scientists and engineers.

    But then…remember that this is a world in which, before the turn of the current century, women weren’t allowed in international competition ski jumping. Presumably folks were afraid their lady parts would fall out when they became airborne.

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