At the end of May, we commented — favorably — on the campaign by philanthropies of the late fashion designer Geoffrey Beene to attract young people to science. That campaign, called Rock Stars of Science, featured a photoshoot in GQ, the men’s fashion magazine, combining real rock stars (e.g., Will.I.Am and Sheryl Crow) with real big-name scientists, including Francis Collins, since nominated to lead the National Institutes of Health.
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) took note of the fact that the only scientific rock stars portrayed were male, and the association is none too pleased. AWIS posted messages on its own Facebook group page and on the Science Careers fan page (Facebook membership required), saying, “If you haven’t seen it and been outraged by it yet, check out the horrid new ‘Rock Stars of Science’ campaign launched by Geoffrey Beene.”
Despite their outrage, AWIS suggests taking part in one aspect of the campaign, which encourages visitors to nominate scientists for rock-star status. AWIS is urging its members to add women to Geoffrey Beene’s band.
UPDATE, 28 July: Corrected the full name of the AWIS organization. Thanks, Science Lady.