Gender and imagery in science

It is interesting to note how our own cultural biases change and sometimes impede the scientific research. That is the case in fertilization, as Emily Martin studied:

In fact, biologists could have figured out a hundred years ago that sperm are weak forward-propulsion units, but it’s hard for men to accept the idea that sperm are best at escaping. The imagery you employ guides you to ask certain questions and to not ask certain others.

Similar cognitive biases arise in other sciences, as can be seen with economists trying to explain everything through a rational agents, and politicians defending its offshoot, the perfect market forces. This bias obscures that which is obvious, and more dangerous, helps create a story, a myth of science, which then is used by our modern civilization to navigate: our current policies are modeled through these myths, and these are informed through our collective ideation of reality – even though it is flawed.

Via Shut up sit down.

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