Field of Science

An apologetic email

Note added Dec. 13:  The author of the ABC article has modified it (even though he had accurately quoted what I'd said to him), and he now also quotes from this email.

Dear Dr. Wolfe-Simon,

I'm emailing you to apologize for quotes from me that have just appeared on the ABC News website.  I wasn't misquoted, but some of the things I said in a phone interview yesterday morning came across more harshly than I had intended.

I told the interviewer that, even though I think your conclusions were wrong, I sympathize with the difficult position you're in (I've spent about 20 years championing a hypothesis that almost everyone thinks is wrong).  I also said that what matters in science isn't whether we make mistakes (we all do) but how we deal with them, and that I think you're handling the situation well.

I feel particularly bad about the 'not calm and confident' quote, because in fact your press conference was very well done.  I meant this statement to only emphasize that women in science know that they're being judged harshly, but instead I came across as someone doing precisely that.


Rosie Redfield

p.s. to everyone else:  I don't want this post to become a place to debate speaking styles so I'm going to close comments (or delete them if I can't figure out how to close them).  My apologies to the four people who've already commented, as I'm about to delete your comments.

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