It shouldn't have really riled me up when I was invited to proof-read the latest edition of my Research Profile on The Institute's website. There are maybe 100 Research Active people on the Faculty. Half of them, seemingly picked a random, are presented with a thumbnail photograph. The rest of us have a place-holder instead. But weirdly and unforgiveably, the women have hair [see LR], while the men have ears [see LL]. Yes, I know I could keep my anger for saving dolphins from microplastic [and I do!] or deploring the use of Sarin in Syria [and I do!]. But the idea that some functionary should take the time to discriminate the place holder on the basis of sex is, well, unconscionable in these times.
Kelly and Bottle green.
Each year in September, I have to learn the names and put faces to 100+ students whom I've never met before. I was never very good at this: getting to know people requires eye-contact. And getting older and more sieve-brained doesn't help. Since my first September in 2013, I scrape The Institute's website for names and thumbnails for each student contact group. It takes me an hour, or a bit more, but it settles my anxiety. Each class is divided into cohorts of N<18 to accord with health & safety limits in laboratories. I finish up with an A4 page with photo, name and student ID which I then spend some time learning. It takes me till early October. This resource is very much appreciated by my colleagues when I share the pages; but none of them offer to help share the burden of populating each sheet. Inevitably, some students are late to register, so I have no picture. For a placeholder, I always use this: