On referring to female officers as ‘madam sir’

ET Lifestyle published a Twitter thread this morning about police officers referring to female superior officers as “sir” or as “madam sir”. I do find the practice offensive, because it signals an inability to imagine anyone but a (cis)man in the position currently occupied by a woman. That calcification – of the masculine identity of … Read more

Why are the Nobel Prizes still relevant?

Note: A condensed version of this post has been published in The Wire. Around this time last week, the world had nine new Nobel Prize winners in the sciences (physics, chemistry and medicine), all but one of whom were white and none were women. Before the announcements began, Göran Hansson, the Swede-in-chief of these prizes, … Read more

Unseating Feynman, and Fermi

Do physicists whitewash the legacy of Enrico Fermi the same way they do Richard Feynman? Feynman disguised his sexism as pranks and jokes, and writers have spent thousands of pages offering his virtues as a great physicist and teacher as a counterweight against his misogyny. Even his autobiography doesn’t make any attempts to disguise his … Read more