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Dr. Lisa Randall. (Keith Meyers/The New York Times)

Don’t go there

Harvard physicist Lisa Randall does not want to talk about being a woman in science

By WITW Staff on December 17, 2015

Famed Harvard physicist Lisa Randall has told the Huffington Post that interviews and media appearances that focus specifically on her success as a female scientist set her work back. Randall spoke of a recent appearance on the NPR show “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” in which an edited version of her answers that focused heavily on her gender were less funny and interesting than her full interview, in which she tried to skirt questions of gender. The problem also applies to reviews of her books, she said. But Randall was quick to say that her success was proof that her work is taken seriously among colleagues regardless of gender. “There is an implicit assumption that any woman who achieves prominence in a male-dominated field will want to discuss them, rather than the actual thing that she does — which is very likely to be a lot more interesting,” she said.

In spite of her reservations of approaching discussion of her work via a gendered lens, Randall talks at length in the interview about the impediments and achievements of women in the sciences.

Read the full interview at The Huffington Post.