Dirty lab coat and rags, greasy hair and thick glasses. This is the idea that most people have about scientists. But it's time to change. If you are a scientist, and want to fight against this stereotype, then Sartorial Science is there for you.
Sartorial Science is a website open to researchers from everywhere and at any stage of their professional and academic career.
The only request is that they send a picture portraying them in their best outfit, and answer a series of short questions regarding their research and fashion styles.
Born from an idea of dr Sam Illingworth, lecturer in Science Communication at Manchester Metropolitan University (previously interviewed by Gravità Zero ), and Sophie Powell, beautiful 24 years-old PhD student in Protein Biochemistry at the University of Manchester and author of the blog The Scientific Beauty, the aim of this collaborative website is to prove that "research" daes not mean "serious", "ugly", "odd" or "old". Scientists are "normal" people like everyone, with proper interests and hobbies outside science, including
Our site has been a hit in the science community since its launch earlier in the week and has grown from a following of 2 to 1000 in just a few days.
The site has received praise from scientists who feel that they are constantly judged by the public as being ‘nerdy’, from undergraduates who are branded as ‘ugly’ for doing science and from early career researchers who feel that they will be judged in the industry for being themselves-states Sophie on her blog.
Many might think that sites such as this are a waste of time, and that scientists should only concern themselves with doing their research, publishing results, and applying for grants. However, it is extremely important to humanise the people behind the science, not least because it will help to inspire a future of generation of scientists- Sam Illingworth claims.
But the website is also a funny and an original way to break the misconceptions within the research environment itself. Research students are, especially in certain countries and scientific fields, often judged in a negative way when all dressed-up as the exterior aspect might be an indicator of how clever the person might be. And this is dramatically true for women in scientific areas traditionally confined to males, like engineering or computer science.
Thanks to Sartorial Science, however, things might change.
With the wide feedback triggered since its opening, the website is already a potential hit within the science community. It is promising to be a great opportunity for scientists to stand up and break the barriers, show themselves as they truly are, and make networks.
If you want to take part, then send your best photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional articles about the project: