Woman Physicist Snubbed

Women face sexism at the workplace and in society all the time. Generally, it is due to their lack of authority. Some might assume that sexism is based on a lack of education too. However, a gathering that included the great minds of science proved that sexism in rampant in great minds too. On June 3, a panel titled “Pondering the Imponderables: The Biggest Questions of Cosmology” was held in New York, at the  annual World Science Festival. This event allowed the audience to engage in a discussion with people included on the panel.


The Panel Discussion

The panel at the event was moderated by Jim Holt and Veronika Hubeny. It should be noted that Hubeny is a theoretical physicist and the only woman on the panel. It should also be noted that a few people in the audience were shocked to realize that Hubeny was treated like a second class guest on the panel. The woman theoretical physicist was not asked any questions at all during the first part of the discussion. Later on, she was asked a question that was clearly in her field. However, Jim Holt decided to answer the question that was directed at Hubeny. A disgruntled member of the audience shouted out her protest at Jim Holt. She decided that she was not going to sit silently by in the audience and let the males on the panel push the only woman on the panel to the background. The protester’s complaint went viral, bringing up issues of sexism and discrimination against women.


It should be noted that Veronika Hubeny was not upset by the panel moderator’s behavior. She confessed that she was slightly amused. In fact, the idea of sexism or discrimination did not occur to her. She admitted that it was challenging trying to answer the questions posed. However, she thought this was due to the way the questions were posed to her and the moderator’s eagerness to answer questions posed.