I have a modest proposal. Let's apply the Finkbeiner test for everything. Not just Science. You may remember the The New York Times' obituary for Yvonne Brill, a pioneering woman scientist. In the first paragraph the Times discussed how she was a good cook and mother. They didn't even discuss her achievements until later in the piece. After public shaming, they later went back and removed the good cook part, but left the good mom part in the first paragraph. The obituary originally said: "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children". (Please note that we know next to nothing about whether or not Werner von Braun was a good dad, or if he could make a good stroganoff..)
The important info came in the middle of the article:
"Mrs. Brill — she preferred to be called Mrs., her son said — is believed to have been the only woman in the United States who was actually doing rocket science in the mid-1940s, when she worked on the first designs for an American satellite.
So let's apply the Finkbeiner test. The test states:
To pass the test, an article about a female scientist must not mention:
- The fact that she’s a woman
- Her husband’s job
- Her child care arrangements
- How she nurtures her underlings
- How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field
- How she’s such a role model for other women
- How she’s the "first woman to..."