Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

A Washington Post article about how "geekifying" Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers doesn't help attract women to STEM fields got me thinking about portrayals of STEM women in pop culture.


Tricia Berry, head of the Women in Engineering Program at The University of Texas at Austin, made a compelling argument against portraying STEM careers as "geeky" because carrying that stereotype forward prevents girls from pursuing STEM careers. She particularly targets groups designed to attract girls to STEM fields with programs like "Geek Girl Dinners." Girls that don't consider themselves "geeks" feel like they can't pursue STEM careers because they're only for "geeks." It constrains opportunities for young girls, and prevents them from identifying with STEM professionals.

This got me thinking about portrayals of women in STEM careers in pop culture. We've talked about what it means to be a nerd and whether it's negatively or positively used nowadays. We know there is a trend of using a "token geek" in many primetime television shows. Sometimes they are women. My question is, what is the best portrayal of a woman in a STEM career in pop culture? (ETA: And do you consider her "geeky?")

Please include a picture, gif, or video of your favorite STEM woman and why she is so awesome.


My pick: Sloan Sabbith, financial news reporter on The Newsroom. (This may be because Season 3 started last night.) She's unabashedly obsessed with economics, unashamedly intelligent, funny, and sharply dressed. I just don't think there are many characters like her on TV. Plus, she'll correct you if you say Santa has eight reindeer. (Tip image via Olivia Munn fan site doublesixx.com, gif via studiosixty tumblr)

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