The European Commission has decided to spend money to try to get more girls interested in science careers (why?) and came up with this rather silly ad:
The ad has gotten lambasted from many quarters, and I'll join in. First, the supposed 'under-representation' of women in hard science doesn't strike me as a pressing problem. The evidence for some ingrained gender differences and lifestyle factors in gender preferences for STEM careers is now so solid that only the hardest-core blank slaters dispute it. There's almost certainly a marginal extra underrepresentation caused by discrimination or amorphous 'cultural factors', but I wonder how significant it is. And in any event, women who are interested in STEM careers -- like men -- are not anticipating a sex-drenched, pulsatingly romantic workplace. They are more likely to be introverted problem-solvers who appreciate intellectual rigor -- precisely the sort of people who have probably never watched a music video with interest in their lives.
And one more thing: when I tried to watch it in my Google Reader RSS feed, I got the following error message:
This is probably just some re-poster, but wouldn't it be delightful if the European Commission's official YouTube account were disabled for copyright violations?