Skepchick Quickies 12.4


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Actually, after the Doctor-Donna episodes, it wouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a story line to explain the Doctor regenerating as a woman.

  2. Re: the Astro Beer – The Russian guy in the video talks about making Vodka, which got me thinking: How would you make a still work in microgravity?

  3. Amanda, that CNN link has an extra ‘http’ in it. Miles O’Brien will be missed. And, no, that’s not just because I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek: TNG. This is a sad day for science reporting…

    Also, I want to know, what is Space Pope’s position on space beer?

  4. Doctor/Donna not withstanding, it would be the end of the series. I doubt you could change producers, change the doctor, introduce new companions all at the same time and still knock it out of the park.

  5. Dr Who’s companions are often with him because they are exceptional people themselves and are mostly women. I’m fine with the show the way it is. Making traditionally male characters female just for the sake of being feminist is absurd. Sure they could come up with something, but would it make any sense and would we want them to?

  6. @Joshua: I think you’d have to include a centrifuge, of only to separate the sediment (which would be the wrong word in space). The condensing though, could that be done with a centrifuge as well? Could that urine recycling thing be re-tasked for the job?

    Come to think of it, that urine recycling thing is a still of sorts, isn’t it? It’d have to be. Now I wonder how that works….

  7. re: Doctor Who – That would certainly give the whole River Song story an interesting spin.

    re: CNN – People still watch cable news channels? How 20th century. I use Google Reader to consolidate dozens of sources into a single page without relying on a programming executive to decide for me what’s important. I can scan through half a dozen stories in the same time it takes Lou Dobbs to clear his throat. And I don’t have to wait for “the top of the hour” either.

  8. “”The UKRC believes that making a high profile sci-fi character with a following like Doctor Who female would help to raise the profile of women in science””

    No, what would actually happen is a general cry of outrage among 90% of the doctor Who fans worldwide. I support the idea, but keep your hands off of doctor Who. The poor show has had to endure so much allready.

    Besides, it’s not like there are no sci-fi shows with female leads. Voyager ran 7 season with a female lead, Stargate SG-1 lasted 11 seasons, and Amanda Tapping had her own show. There’s the Sarah Conner chronicles and we can’t forget about the X-files or large parts of Battlestar Galactica.

    It’s a good idea but let’s not overreact.

  9. I’d watch a female Doctor Who, but it’s a bit silly to say a character like that would raise the profile of women in science. The Doctor isn’t even a scientist, in the way that that implies. It’s not like he’s in a lab somewhere, sniffing chemicals. He’s a smart, logical character who solves mysteries, and so are the bulk of the female characters on the show.

  10. @Rebecca: One of the things we *should* be doing to role-model women in science is to encourage girls in real life. Like speaking to an elementary school class about experiences in science, for example. Not even making a big deal about gender, just “oh look it’s perfectly natural that I’m here talking about this and I happen to be a woman – see? you can do this too”. Huh. Yeah. When I’m a real scientist again, I will totally do that.

  11. Another option would be to do a spin-off involving either Jenny, Romana or Susan Foreman. I could see any of them acquiring their own TARDIS. You’d have to explain how they managed to survive the Time War bit, hey, if they can keep resurrecting the Master and Davros…

  12. I have to agree with Kimbo, alkari and Wytworm (et al) here.

    I’m no sexist, but to replace the good Doctor with a woman strikes me like trying to directly replace the Sherlock Holmes or Mr. Spock characters in their storylines with a woman. As a new major character on the same level as Doctor Who, bring in a woman (or women), by all means. Maybe she could become his replacement over time (no pun or TARDIS intended) in such a way as to work withing the storyline. As a direct replacement, no.

    This is especially true if there are other elements being changed, as is the case here. The producers run the risk of killing their golden goose. If it doesn’t work, it could kill the franchise for good. :-(

    Not worth the questionable effect on recruiting female science talent, IMHO.

    As to the Space Beer: “When interviwed, the first tasters said that it looked and tasted just like recycled station water. :-D

  13. Am I a bad female scientist for just wanting to oogle a cute, male Doctor? I agree with Kimbo, there are much better, more effective, more real-life ways of doing this.

  14. You want my opinion on space beer, I’m flattered. Oh, wait, oh; SpacePope, SpaceBeer, compris! Well, as for space beer, if it anything like the varieties of Sam Adams, and others that I have enjoyed, I am all for it’s manufacture and sale, if it tastes like the American style lagers that are so popular, forget it. What has disappointed is that there are no plans to make Space Vodka, premium vodka being my favorite drink, if they grow the potatoes in space weightlessness will be imbued in the potatoes and when they distill it into Space Vodka it will create weightlessness in those of us that drink it. Imagine the possibilities, we drink the Space Vodka, we become weightless and start floating through the air, making the phrase ‘getting high’ literal. Man, the company that gets the rights to manufacture and distribute Space Vodka will make billions, I want stock in that company!
    Na Zdrowie!

  15. I don’t see why a female doctor would be a problem. The time lords aren’t human. If he can grow back a hand after it gets lopped off, die and ressurect, travel through time and live for over 900 years why can’t they switch sexes. There are species in the real world that switch sexes as the need arises. But if they do get a female doctor she has to be hot. The english finally have some attractive women. Not many but a few dozen so they need to get one of them to be the doctor. You know who would be perfect for the female doctor? Tking doll. She would make a great hot doctor. Can she act?

  16. I agree that making Dr. Who female next, in and of itself, doesn’t do much to promote women in science. Some great points as to why have been brought up..

    I think, however, that just because it might rile a few people up, or just because it is making news (this may be the first time people have heard of it), people will SEE those groups/individuals promoting women in STEM and whatnot.

    It might even be interesting if the Dr. Who and a woman-sidekick still endured.. and there was an awkward romance.. Of course, he would be a she, literally, and interested in men… bring in a man, who falls for the Dr., and then so forth.

  17. I’d like a female Doctor, and a female companion, and some hot girl-on-girl-in-TARDIS action.

    But I don’t think they should have a female Doctor. I simply feel a male is more appropriate for “last of ones species”.

  18. @GabrielBrawley: I’m as much concerned about fan reactions as I am about the storyline. It can be dangerous to tamper with success. I just don’t want something like this to bring down the entire franchise.

    The question is: Will the fans buy it (literally as well as figuratively)?

  19. @Gabrielbrawley: For me the problem is the motivation behind the suggestion. “Make the doctors female to get girls into science!” Really? To change the doctor to a woman as a gimmick is almost insulting. To change the doctor as it is needed in the plot, ok.

    This reminds me of a few weeks ago when Daniel Craig was saying the next Bond should be black. Is James Bond, the character, black? No. So why should be all of a sudden be black? It’s gimmicky and tacky.

    That’s the best thing we can do for women and minorities? Make famous movie and TV characters their race and gender? How about we stop treating each other like garbage, that would be a start. And probably more effective…

    (I think the exam stress is starting to get to me…I’m actually ranting about an article that probably won’t make any difference to anything in the first place. What am I doing? …calm blue ocean…)

  20. @Kimbo Jones:

    Hehe, I was thinking more like Bi-sexual… at first, she thinks “golly-gee I’m still attracted to this woman”.. and then… a man comes along and the doctor says “Oh,my, I like this fellow, too! Crap!”

  21. @Bjornar: Ahh, good point about the “last of the species” appropriateness.

    @Kimbo Jones: Daniel Craig also said he thinks Bond should have some same-sex “romantic” encounters. I would VERY much like to see that. Very very. Yes please.

    Okay, done being pervy now.

  22. Oh yeah and don’t forget if the fans really hate a female doctor and stop watching droves they can just kill her and bring back a guy. But I think the fans will be happy if the stories are good and hopefully a lot more complex.

  23. @Amanda:

    Daniel Craig also said he thinks Bond should have some same-sex “romantic” encounters. I would VERY much like to see that. Very very. Yes please.

    I didn’t think I could love Daniel Craig more. And yet, now I do.

  24. I recall reading that Craig had gone back on the Bond-having-a-gay-fling idea, which kind of makes sense, as it would be a slightly weird addition to the Bond character. Other characters in the franchise coming out? Now, that sounds like a good idea (and let the fanfic writers go wild).

    Hmmm, some guy having an unrequited crush on Daniel Craig. . . does that sound too realistic to be in a James Bond movie?

  25. Personally I would like to see Catherine Tate as the next Doctor, not because of encouraging women in science, but because I though she did a great job as Donna and I think she could do well as The Doctor as well. As writerdd pointed out, after the Doctor-Donna incident it would be easy to justify from a plot standpoint as well.

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