Changing Their Image; January 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Mukerjee; 1 Page(s)
On a cool October evening, troops of female journalists congregated at the august New York Academy of Sciences in Manhattan to appraise a group of blushing male scientists. The courageous men had modeled for the first-ever "Studmuffins of Science" calendar. "I want to change the image of science," explained "Dr. September," Bob Valentini of Brown University, with the wide-eyed earnestness of a Miss Universe desiring to eradicate world hunger. Karen Hopkin, who co-produces "Science Friday" for National Public Radio and is the calendar¿s creator, offered a more believable rationale for the enterprise: "It was an elaborate scheme for me to meet guys."
To the disappointment of many in the audience, the studs turned out in modest suits and ties. Even the calendar featured only Dr. January, Brian Scottoline of Stanford University, in bathing trunks. "We wanted them to be wholesome, PG-13," said Nicolas Simon, the calendar¿s designer. "So we can sell to schoolgirls. It¿s educational." Dr. October, John Lovell of Anadrill Schlumberger, presented an alternative view of the creative process. He had offered to take off his shirt in the service of science, he declared, but "the photographer took one look at my chest and told me to put it back on." Still, three editorial assistants from Working Mother were suitably impressed. "All our readers will fall over their faces for these guys," one testified.