Today we have a guest post from good friend of the blog, MyTchondria, who has an SfN-related story to share. There is a lesson here, people.
Why Namenzia is My Hero
As SfN14 approaches, I eagerly await the silence that will envelop my building as the neuroscience masses flock to DC for the gathering of the hive mind. I’ve attended a lot of SfN meetings but this year I couldn't bring myself to do it financially or emotionally.
This would have been the first year for me where the impact of #RipplesofDoubt had settled in for me and, coupled with my massive loathing of Nature’s year of multi-tiered failures of misogyny, bias and arrogance, I had sincere concerns I might end up in stabby-pants prison.
The stories of assault, harassment and bullying of women in science this year were written about with such pain and eloquence that their truths were undeniable for those of us who had experienced these things in the field, bench and in our professional social lives. I know quite clearly that I have been part of the problem - guilty of taking my history and putting them into a tight little ball deep in my innards that would surely cause cancer one day. Making the guilt worse was what turned out to be my totally unfounded hope that harassment would end with my generation of female scientists. These hopes were soon dashed when a neuroscience trainee detailed harassment at SfN in a new lawsuit filed this summer against her mentor and other BSD scientists. All very depressing things. But I find hope in last years #SfN13 banter and wanted to share the utterly hilarious and totally reflexive behavior of last year’s “Official Winner of #SfN13*” @Namenzia.
One of the most compelling and annoying hobbies for new Twitter folks is trying to put a pseudonym with an in real life person (by the way, don’t do this). Last year, I sat at a table as a particularly drunk follower tried to figure out who I was. I told her where I was, but in the time that it took her to find ‘me’, Nam had taken my seat as I squashed in with @gertyz.
Said drunken scientist arrived on the scene and proceeded to plop on @Namenzia’s lap. No sooner does her arse hit his quad then Nam immediately jumps up with both hands in the air. The unceremoniously dislodged woman was left holding the chair for dear life as Nam professes at the top of his lungs “I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!!” He then dashes into the crowd, leaving @gertyz to applaud.
This, my friends, was a master class on how to deal with inappropriate interactions. There is no doubt it won’t work for all interactions, I get this, but damn, it sure was brilliant.
*Official Winner of #SfN13 selection was made by a jury of two scientists at the time of the event. Therefore ‘scientists say it’s true’. Alert the press and update your CV, Nam.