Does Paris have a fruit fly problem? Is it sexist to worry about a woman’s use of couture clothing? How could these questions be connected?
Research on fruit flies is at the foundations of our modern understanding of genetics and congenital disorders. But what does Sarah Palin think of research on them? Well, have a look:
from the Huffington Post:
Fruit flies are more than just the occasional vehicles for research relevant to human disabilities. They are literally the foundation of modern genetics, the original model organism that has enabled us to discover so much of what we know about heredity, genome structure, congenital disorders, and (yes) evolution. So for Palin to state that “fruit fly research” has “little or nothing to do with the public good” is not just wrong — it’s mind-boggling.
… anyone who has stayed awake through even a portion of a high-school-level biology class knows what fruit flies are good for. But leave that aside for a second. … Listen to the tone of her voice as she sneers the words “fruit fly research.” Check out the disdain and incredulity on her face. How would science, basic or applied, fare under President Palin?
What in the world does this have to do with sexism? Well, it has been said that concern over the $150,000 spent on Palin’s wardrobe is sexism at work. But, arguably, we should be concerned over the elements going into the manufacturing of this image, which a too sizable part of our population in the States seems to think reveals a woman ready to be president of the US. Scorn for science practices, folksy cuteness and couture clothing?
Finally, I’m not sure it’s dumb to forget about fruitflies from high school. But I think it is appallng to assume one can assess the merits of funded scientific research without more inquiry than has been shown here.