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Thursday News: Wattpad’s record year; Women in science and on the...

“‘Put at least one woman on the team that organizes a scientific symposium, and that team will be much more likely to invite female speakers,’ said study co-author Arturo Casadevall, chair of microbiology and immunology at Yeshiva University, in a statement. The authors analyzed 460 symposia involving 1,845 speakers in two large meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology, the General Meeting and the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.” The Atlantic

“According to a 2005 report by the Pew Research Center, which has been tracking the online lives of Americans for more than a decade, women and men have been logging on in equal numbers since 2000, but the vilest communications are still disproportionately lobbed at women. We are more likely to report being stalked and harassed on the Internet—of the 3,787 people who reported harassing incidents from 2000 to 2012 to the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, 72.5 percent were female.” Pacific Standard

“It stands to reason that punchy, exciting word choice is a must for an effective blurb, but we weren’t sure how much our readers agreed. When we tested this hypothesis, the results were surprising even to us, as the addition of just one key word consistently drove better response rates. In one case, placing the word “hilarious” near the beginning of a blurb resulted in almost 4,000 more clicks.” BookBub Unbound

“Intel’s new prototype smartwatch integrates a full phone into a watch, not simply relying on a smartphone like most other smart watches, including the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch 2, for connectivity.” The Guardian

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Mari
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 07:10:35

    Uhmmmm..maybe its just me, (and my profession) but I have never ever noticed the lack of women speakers at conferences. Lack of men, yes. But lack of women, nope.
    I am a librarian, but even in other aspects of my life, (Church, family etc.,) never noticed this problem. At all.Would love to see and hear more men speak. Actually, forget that. I just want the best and not diversity bean counters, thanks.

  2. Little Red
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 10:32:39

    @Mari: Yes, it is just you and your profession. Come join us in the STEM fields and you too can be the lone woman/handful of women at a meeting/conference/etc.

  3. pooks
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 10:32:39

    I had a similar reaction to the ‘five points.’ It reminds me of the ‘All! New! Changing! Marketplace! Selfpub!’ articles that tell you how to make money by self-pubbing, and first toss out casually, “write in a hot genre” and “be prolific.”

    Wasn’t this the same way to make lots of money in the traditional marketplace?

    Be a NYT Best Seller and have 200 5* reviews? More of the same “no kidding” advice.

  4. hapax
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 12:11:20

    I want to work in Mari’s library. Although the vast majority of librarians are women, all but one of the top jobs at my library are held by men, and it’s only the guys who are ever authorized to go to conferences.

    Of course, that’s because they specialize in Cool Stuff like tech and business and admin, and I putter around playing with the girly fiction.

    Not that I’m bitter or anything.

  5. Sunita
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 12:35:14

    @Little Red: Not just STEM, either. Political Science and Economics are still heavily male dominated, especially at the tenured level. Fewer women at every step of the hierarchy. And there are lots more women coming into both disciplines now. [ETA: What I mean by that is that given there are way more women in the pipeline, the lack of women at Associate and Full level is even more distressing.]

    @hapax: I checked our library’s directory. Until she retired a couple of years ago we had an awesome woman who was University Librarian, but now we have a man. The higher-level jobs are where the men are; there are women, but the women are disproportionately in the lower-level positions. Not likely to be going to conferences. So, yeah.

  6. Christine
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 13:14:54

    Regarding the quote from the article above ‘of the 3,787 people who reported harassing incidents from 2000 to 2012 to the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, 72.5 percent were female.” Pacific Standard”

    I fear this is also partially a cultural difference as well. I think women are more likely to report online harassment and more likely to take it seriously and as a genuine threat than men are. This is sadly because women are far more likely to become victims of similar behavior “in real life” and perceive the threat of it online spilling into their “real lives.” Every “average” man I know or has ever known seems to live a life of far less fear on a day to day basis than any “average” woman I know or have known. Things like traveling/being alone or whether it’s daylight or dark etc. etc. have a very small influence over the life and decisions of most men I know and a huge influence over the life of most women. I imagine a lot of men would shrug off the idea of online harassment with the idea of “Eh, let them just try and come mess with me.”

  7. Janine
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 13:30:52

    @Little Red & @Sunita: My dad’s friend and colleague (they are both Physics professors) used to get invited on interviews for professorial positions even when the interviewers had not the slightest inclination or interest in hiring her. Often the position was already promised to a man. So they could show that they had considered a woman for the job, when in fact they hadn’t.

  8. AlexaB
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 13:34:29


    Also the entertainment industry. That’s why there’s a need for organizations like Women in Film and conferences like <a href="; title="The Women's Entertainment & Technology Summit" – because otherwise female speakers would be few and far between. It would be great if women weren't shunted to a side programming track (TWETS was part of the bigger Digital Hollywood biannual conference) but…at least it's some sort of acknowledgement.

  9. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity’s been all hunkered down
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 02:02:05

    […] Book and publishing news from Dear Author. […]

  10. Isobel Carr
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 09:11:12

    Philosophy departments are also OVERWHELMINGLY male (and white). I went to a women’s college. All our philosophy profs were male (and white). When one retired and we did a candidate search (I was a student participant) we searched HIGH AND LOW for female or PoC candidates. Couldn’t find a single one. The few who existed had been snatched up by much larger universities (Ivies and such). And the one conference I went to was exactly the same. I was a seven day wonder.

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