There’s been a growing movement in the science communication circuit to promote ‘Geek Pride’. For the uninitiated, geek pride is sort of like gay pride, but being proud of being a geek. Apparently, to be a scientist is to be a geek so instead of fighting the negative stereotypes, we should all apparently accept it.
I do not agree.
Geek is a stereotype
There’s nothing inherently geeky about being a scientist. To me, geeks are typified by their poor dress sense, social awkwardness and intense devotion to a subject. The imagery associated with geeks is especially powerful, with the fashion industry populating geek chic only a few years back.
So with all this imagery and broad classification, why would I support Geek Pride when I don’t identify as a geek. Why should people interested in science, technology and the world around them, be branded as a geek?
Every profession has a stereotype. Stereotypes are never a good thing. Geek is the penultimate stereotype for scientists.
So let’s get this right and set things straight once and for all.
I do not wear large, heavy rimmed glasses and feel uncomfortable talking with women, or anyone for that matter. I tend to wear designer suits and not odd little-knit sweater vests. Currently, over 25 Engineers, many Doctors and IT Architects are working for me. Most of them are hip, relaxed and not at all, “geeky”. Sure, there is always one in the crowd, but it is certainly not the norm.
So get it right people, all Techs are not Geeks ! We are passionate about science, but also about many other things too, including sports, music and much, much more.
Come on, do I look like a geek? (photo of me and my wife. Both educated, passionate about science and technology, not geeks)