This is what a scientist looks like

by Stephanie Chasteen on April 3, 2012

I just found out about a pretty neat new Tumblr project, posting pictures of “real scientists”, to paint the picture of the diversity that is the lab-coated set.  It’s really fun to look through:  This is what a scientist looks like.

I just submitted my photo, not sure how long it takes for them to post them, but there seem to be several new ones a day.

Here’s what they say about the motivation for the site:

Have you ever searched the Internet for an image of a scientist? Of the first 20 images in a Google image search, only two are women, all are white, and most have either too much or too little hair. Oh and most are sporting spectacles.

Have you ever asked a seventh grader to draw a picture of a scientist? A while back Fermilab did just this, before and after a tour of the lab space. Before the students met some real life scientist they mostly drew white men in lab coats, some bald, some with Einsteinian hair.

And do you know how many American adults can count a scientist among their close friends? Less than 20 percent.

This website is dedicated to changing the overwhelming stereotype that science is conducted behind closed doors by unapproachable old, white men. While some scientists do work in a lab, others spend their days traveling the world looking for rare insects, or underwater studying sharks, or up a volcano collecting rocks. Scientists enjoy food, dancing, music, and traveling. There are many women in science, and the number of minorities in the field is steadily increasing.


Jim April 5, 2012 at 7:54 pm

It’s too bad most of Tumblr is blocked by the required internet filters at a public school.

kim sue April 27, 2012 at 1:47 am

Thanks for sharing that cool site. Has anyone requested that Brian Mays post his picture?

Carlos B February 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

My daughter has wanted to be a scientist her whole life. Can’t wait to see her grow into it. thanks for the info!

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