back to article UK Science Museum will reconsider its 'sexist' brain quiz

The Science Museum in London has announced it will reconsider its exhibition on sex and gender – after it faced criticism over a quiz that tested whether a brain was male or female. Located on the first floor, Who Am I? is a permanent gallery that has been in the museum over 15 years. The exhibition explores the underlying …

Anonymous Coward

We're the pissed off and angry party and we're here to be offended.

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...whether it agrees with current scientific understanding or not.

Oh wait, it doesn't agree with current scientific understanding, and it wasn't clearly labelled as representing something which people used to believe in the previous century.

Bring on the phrenologists, too, and don't give kids a clue that the reading of the bumps on their heads doesn't actually mean that they are vicious little sods fit only for the eugenics camps.

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Anonymous Coward

Welcome to the party friend, here's your badge.

Almost everyone that posts on the internet is a member!

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Phrenology

With the way some little shits tear through museums, some retro-phrenology would be in order to make it a nice, peaceful environment once more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Phrenology

"Although it is widely agreed that male and female brains do differ chemically with various hormones, whether that translates into cognitive abilities is still debatable."

According to what I've read there is scientific evidence that male and females have different strengths and weaknesses.

You'll have to forgive me though as I'm not up-to-date on the latest "reality", are we now supposed to pretend that men and women are exactly the same?

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Black Helicopters

It reported my gender.....

as non-binary-investigative-hetero-cis-trans-existential-ubuntu-helicopter

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Re: It reported my gender.....

Oh! You too, how wonderful! Maybe we should form a group or something, you know for hugs and cakes and support.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It reported my gender.....

The machine saw me coming & immediately gave a BSOD in self defense. The museum sent me a restraining order telling me to stay away or they'd send me the bill for the AI's therapy. Bah...

/s

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Angel

Re: It reported my gender.....

The machine saw me coming & immediately gave a BSOD in self defense. The museum sent me a restraining order telling me to stay away or they'd send me the bill for the AI's therapy.

Someone else who enjoyed Dave Allen's reaction to the introduction of an AI priest to take confession?

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Re: It reported my gender.....

Damn, I thought my password was un-guessable!!!

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What the actual fuck

Generation snowflake!!! Jesus Christ this country is fucked :(

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Re: What the actual fuck

I'm not necessarily sold on the PC angle but would agree that the Science Museum should not have displays which purport to communicate scientifically-established ideas but which actually have no such basis.

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Coat

Re: What the actual fuck

Not sure either, was it about the choice of colour. After all my years of studying birds I have come to understand that some birds start building a house and then they get very verbal and start vividly spinning their cock outside until a she, hopefully, comes along to go yes or no. And after all my years of studying elephants I have found that young and beautiful female elephants don't give a shit about all the Verstappens of the world but let a mature guy like me in. Is that due to their parents, kindergarten or the collage they attended, the brains, or just the balls or their absence. Time to study eunuchs I suppose. Oh no I won't, what the hell about the colour.

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WTF?

"young and beautiful female elephants"

I really shouldn't judge in this modern society, but are you saying that you have sex with elephants?

Honestly, I'm not even sure how that would work because elephants have four feet and humans don't. I would imagine you would be completely incapable of congress with only six inches.

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Re: What the actual fuck

"the Science Museum should not have displays which purport to communicate scientifically-established ideas but which actually have no such basis."

To be fair, it IS a museum, so having exhibits of outdated historical artefacts is pretty much why they are there. Except they didn't label it as such, which is a shame. Maybe they should try and stay away from "bleeding edge" science since that is pretty much a moving target much of the time.

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Odd...

that no one actually reported, demanded or even questioned the validity any of the assertions, which could be established by running - say 1-000 people through the tests to see if, actually it did reveal any statistically significant differences.

Presumably that us a risk no politically correct person dare take.

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History

To be fair it does date back to 2000, well before women had the vote and before we realised that they had minds as well.

It is going to be replaced by a contemporary balanced question:

Are you a thick racist neanderthal brexit brain or a modern go-ahead dynamic remain cultured genius brain?

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Re: History

Well I don't know if brexit/remain is the same, but there have been some interesting studies comparing the conservative brain with the liberal brain. The conservative brain was found to have a markedly stronger fear response, which may explain why conservative candidates are successful in playing on fear - fear of outsiders/immigrants, fear of terrorists, fear of crime, fear of communists, etc.

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Re: History

Odd, I've seen studies asserting the exact opposite. It's almost as if the entire field of behavioural psychology is rife with confirmation bias and cherry-picking to prove dubious political points.

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Re: History

"conservative brain with the liberal brain"

I don't understand this. In most political thinking conservatism and liberalism are considered complementary not opposites, involving free enterprise and minimal regulation. Socialism, by contrast, tends to only work by imposing order on people which is illiberal.

David Cameron considered himself a liberal and Tony Blair famously sought his "third way".

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Re: History

At least over here in the land of the currently free; "liberal" is code for ultimate conservative.

No government spending except defense, everything else you pay for or do yourself.

Why pay for a police force if you can just buy a gun ?

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Re: History

Is this the old left brain / right brain debate?

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Re: History

as if the entire field of behavioural psychology

Curious thing is that degree courses in BP are almost always Bachelors of Science, when they clearly should be Arts. And sticking to the theme of the original article, shouldn't the women get a Spinster's?

"Oh, yes I got my Spinster's of Arts in Behavioural Psychology from Wrexham Glyndŵr University. It was really hard work"

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"telling girls they have "pink brains""

So where is the outrage about telling boys they have blue ones?

Does this feminist twitter fart think pink ones are inferior? Perhaps because girls have them?

Maybe the exhibit should include transparent brains for the air heads complaining about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "telling girls they have "pink brains""

What about boys with pink brains, because given the assumption that the brain deciding machine is incorrect then there would have to be a lot of boys with pink brains and girls with blue.

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Devil

Re: "telling girls they have "pink brains""

I'd think that all of our brains are pink. If they're actually blue, there's probably an oxygen insufficiency and dead.

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Re: "telling girls they have "pink brains""

Came here for pretty much the same comment. Maybe it's the limits of a tweet, but she doesn't appear to be upset that they are suggesting that males and females have different brains, or that there is a "male" brain and a "female" brain, but that the female brain is represented as pink. Which, it is (at least, more pink than blue).

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Re: "telling girls they have "pink brains""

They're mostly a pinkish beige.

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Facepalm

Re: "telling girls they have "pink brains""

to answer that you need to understand that if you are an extreme feminist certain things are verbotten and one of those things is to suggest that the male of the species might have a complaint as well.

Firstly, its not about equality, its about superiority, they actually care not one iota for things being equal.

Secondly you just have to follow the ramblings of people like Caroline Criado Perez for an insight into how they think, a good example is when one of the two people convicted of making threatening and malicious communications turned out to be female Ms CP said it was because the woman in question had "internalised mysoginy", in other words it was the mans fault again.!

So thats the key thing here, those of us who are penis wielding rationalists really dont care what colour the brain is depicted as and also recognise that men and women are different.

Whoever, if you are a fully paid up member of the extreme feminist brigade (perhaps it should be called "so called feminist state" ala ISIS and the BBC!) you are only interested in the pink jobs.

Whilst the great thinker Reg in the life of Brian wanted the right to have babies, the sad reality is that he can't actually fire them out even if granted that right because we are different, in exactly the same way that should one of the extreme feminist loons choose to write their name in the snow with their own urine via the micturation method she will just get wet feet!

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Thought all brains were pink ?

At least it looked pink-ish in Anatomy as a undergrad.

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Well, the question of nurture and nature in this particular field has come up I see:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/science-news/news/2360/

According to this there is a suggestion that it is nurture that pushes this stereotype.

So they could rename the quiz:

"Are you a uk-socio-economic-female brain or a uk-socio-economic-male brain as of 2016 standards"?

Change the pink and blue to green and red. No that has stop go connetations.

How about green and brown? Nah. Old gods link.

Pastel yellowy and pastel greeny?

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Green and purple. Then it's the Drazi.

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Sir Tim Hunt

So if we mention gender differences that some scientists are not sure exist, we are wrong.

But if we so much as mention gender differences that do exist, we are sacked.

And The Register seems to think that's fair.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Sir Tim Hunt

To be fair, (swidt?), I have enjoyed reading El Reg since 2000, but I don't think of them as a moral artibiter.

Paris, because that kind of emphasis my point. :)

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Holmes

Re: Sir Tim Hunt

I do not think of The Reg as a moral arbiter.

But it is a website that pushes its opinions on current affairs and I think it is perfectly valid to point out when those opinions are hypocritical.

No shit, Sherlock.

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Anonymous Coward

Goes to show blokes brains are different from the pink ones - no complaints from blokes, only girlies. So there is a difference then :-)

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Coat

Don't complain about the "science"...

Complain about the colour scheme...

(Mine's the blue coat)

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Re: Don't complain about the "science"...

It looks white in the picture.

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Stop

Re: Don't complain about the "science"...

NO

NO

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FAIL

Phew! Thank goodness!!

I took that test and based on my score the it told me that my best hope for a future was marrying a nice doctor or lawyer and raising some kids. Glad to know that the problem was the machine!!

Now, if yoU'l exkuSe Me, i arE back To werk.

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Obligatory sexist brain joke

Bright astrophysicist is referred to brain surgeon. He gives her the bad news: she has early onset dementia. She is understandably upset, and the surgeon, who is a bit of a shady character, says "look, I shouldn't tell you this, but there is a highly active market in second hand brains. I've got a contact..."

...

In the second hand brain shop....

"Well, my dear, we have this one: 1.30kg, female brain, some kind of business genius --- $10,000"

"Have you got anything more science-based?" she asks.

"Well, if you don't mind spending a bit more, we have this one, 1.31kg, female mathematician, $20,000"

"Hmm, good" she muses. "What if money's no object?"

"Ah", says the brain salesman, eyes lighting up "Well, in that case ..." and he opens a safe. "This is the brain of a male nuclear physicist. It is $50,000 for 1.4kg of brainpower"

"Wow" says our heroine, "why is it so expensive --- is it the extra 100 grams?"

"No, bless you my dear" says the salesman "It's a MALE brain ... it's hardly been used!"

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Re: Obligatory sexist brain joke

Or how about Smith & Jones' observation about why mens brains are heavier...

"More dense."

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Didn't they include a sensitivity warning?

They should be ashamed of themselves. The poor millennials need to head for safe space fast.

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Re: Didn't they include a sensitivity warning?

No it is the 1970s TERFs such as Germaine Greer that need to head for a safe space fast.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Didn't they include a sensitivity warning?

Safe spaces for dinosaurs, they really exist?

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TRT
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Re: Didn't they include a sensitivity warning?

It's a Silurian Ark Ship.

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Re: Didn't they include a sensitivity warning?

@katrinab - thanks, m'dear for 'TERF' - hadn't heard of the term. Nice to have a snappy acronym I can use for bigoted f***wits like Greer now.

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I once heard of a device ...

... that purported to be capable of roughly differentiating between people of certain ethnicities by measuring the reflectivity to visible light of the skin on the back of the subject's hand. This was of course rightly dismissed as being racist claptrap, and there was no scientific basis for the ridiculous idea that differences in skin composition are in any way based upon a person's ethnic ancestry. In fact we now know that the very idea that different ethic groups exist is quite outrageous and offensive, but believe it or not such superstitions were quite prevalent at one time. But that was in the barbaric days when people not only believed in racial differences, but were also so intolerant of sexual diversity that a person could be thrown in jail merely for having sex, despite the fact that the 5 year old was fully consenting.

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This post has been deleted by its author

>> Although it is widely agreed that male and female brains do differ chemically with various hormones, whether that translates into cognitive abilities is still debatable.

No it really isn't. Nearly all studies in this area show gender-based cognitive differences. For example, taking the average, nearly all women have better developed communication skills, and nearly all men have better 3D spatial awareness.

So while this exhibit may not be PeeCee enough for the new fact-free belief system that we're all being socially engineered into taking as somehow unquestionably self-evident, it is factually correct and backed up with experimental results The real problem is that inconvenient truths clearly have no place in the modern social agenda.

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