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When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Postby honee_v » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:14 am

I am a woman too and have never encountered disrespect here in Biology Online.org. And I still look forward for contributing more to this site. I've been here for seven years and I can attest that this is the first time I heard about a staff of Biology Online showing unethical/unprofessional behavior.

Biology Online is run by a few people.. some of us, including me, are working remotely and thus most of us are communicating solely and rely through email. Like I said, we do not encourage nor tolerate that behavior that is why I immediately reported this incident yesterday to the other site's admins upon seeing this thread.

I know you want a speedy action but it is also necessary to conduct a fair investigation. It was only yesterday that I was informed that Ofek is a new employee of the website as an Editor. I was promised that this will be dealt with as soon as possible. I hope this would be resolved by Monday.

If the complaint is proven true and Ofek failed to give an ethical reason for his behavior I too would ask that he sends his apologies and that fair action must be taken to prevent this incident from happening again.

Thank you.
"Why you care about small things? World very simple place...
World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat."

- Quina Quen (ffix)
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Postby leetilson » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:22 am

I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.
Here is some information.
I searched http://www.biology-online.org for the word "ofek" and found two links
I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.

Here is the search
https://www.google.com/search?q=inurl%3 ... k&safe=off
=
http://tinyurl.com/OfekInBiologyOnline
I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.
That led to this article. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ofek+ga
I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.
http://tinyurl.com/GiladOfek
http://www.zoominfo.com/s/#!search/prof ... id=profile
I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.
Here are 46 ofeks in the US http://www.zabasearch.com/people/ofek/
I have no idea if this is the right Ofek.
I hope this helps.
Again, I have no idea if this is the right Ofek. Only Biology Online can answer that.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby skissman » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:28 am

Never. Especially a female scientist who politely declined to write for free after inquiring what the terms were. She did not initiate the invitation to blog, answered politely and was called a whore? Wrong. Dead wrong.

Shame on you biology online. And shame on Scientific American.
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Re:

Postby AngelFelina » Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:33 am

honee_v wrote:If the complaint is proven true and Ofek failed to give an ethical reason for his behavior I too would ask that he sends his apologies and that fair action must be taken to prevent this incident from happening again.


How in any way can this biological unit give an ethical reason for his behaviour? Original response: I'd fire him. He was drunk? I'd fire him. He didn't get laid last night? I'd fire him. He's racist/sexist? I'd fire him. He dabbled in home chemistry? I'd fire him. He clicked "Send" instead of "Forward" (as seems to happen more and more these days)? I'd fire him. Allah made him do it? I'd fire him.

It's most probably not the first time he's done something like this so tell me: What exactly are the requirements to become an editor on this blog? It's fairly easy to find information on most good editors/bloggers on the internet - web presence should be expected. Not so much with this "person".

You can't apologize for something like this. It was intentional, it was angry, it was dangerous. No mercy.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby MrProsser » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:23 am

I know you want a speedy action but it is also necessary to conduct a fair investigation. It was only yesterday that I was informed that Ofek is a new employee of the website as an Editor. I was promised that this will be dealt with as soon as possible. I hope this would be resolved by Monday.


Unless the e-mail happened to be a complete fabrication they should be dumped immediately. There is absolutely no excuse, none at all, that can be given to make their e-mail acceptable.
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Re:When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby SJH » Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:46 am

AngelFelina wrote:
honee_v wrote:If the complaint is proven true and Ofek failed to give an ethical reason for his behavior I too would ask that he sends his apologies and that fair action must be taken to prevent this incident from happening again.


How in any way can this biological unit give an ethical reason for his behaviour? Original response: I'd fire him. He was drunk? I'd fire him. He didn't get laid last night? I'd fire him. He's racist/sexist? I'd fire him. He dabbled in home chemistry? I'd fire him. He clicked "Send" instead of "Forward" (as seems to happen more and more these days)? I'd fire him. Allah made him do it? I'd fire him.


Firing would seem to be the only fair option, unless the site would be able to monitor all the conversations that Ofek has with potential/ current bloggers etc. The latter is unlikely as it has been said that most that work for the site are not centralised.

In answer to the question? No. Never. What was Ofek thinking? We may never know, or never want to know.

Texts/journals etc. will only get you so far, but a scientists insight and views can really help to advance your own knowledge. Not respecting their achievements by declaring them as a whore because they have asked about a possible payment is not the way to attract potential bloggers.

The whole situation seems to be like being cold called by a phone company, asking what terms there are for the deal/phone etc, politely declining, then the salesperson at the other end swearing and insulting you.

Not professional at all.
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Postby johnrplatt » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:15 am

I agree, the immediate dismissal of Ofek (and the revelation of his real name) is the only acceptable avenue here.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby ArcticChar » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:20 am

There's no way this can be justified. Clearly biology-online is not professionally managed, judging from the admin's response above. Unless the accusation is somehow false, there's no acceptable "explanation" for a comment that was both racist and sexist.

I think the goal of protest ought to be to get Nature Publications Group (the parent of Scientific American) to sever all ties to biology-online. Looking more closely at biology-online reveals it to be a poorly managed and amateur effort.

The real pressure needs to be felt by SciAm.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby RNCSLewis » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:32 am

What is the point of science without humanity? - I am appalled by the language from this supposedly professional person to a fellow human and scientist. Where is your accountability for bullying and unacceptable behaviour? An apology is the least your blog editor Ofek should consider.
Regards,
Constance


"The Blog editor of Biology-Online dot org asked me (DNLee) if I would like to blog for them. I asked the conditions. He explained. I said no. He then asked "Are you urban scientist or an urban whore? "
It wasn’t just that he called me a whore – he juxtaposed it against my professional being: Are you urban scientist or an urban whore? Completely dismissing me as a scientist, a science communicator (whom he sought for my particular expertise), and someone who could offer something meaningful to his brand.What? Now, I’m so immoral and wrong to inquire about compensation? Plus, it was obvious me that I was supposed to be honored by the request.." reposted from fb
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Postby tuxcomputers » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:53 am

Guys guys settle down, Ofek was hired recently, it was HIM that made the error and you are calling for this entire site and all the rest of the staff to be cut off? Good job painting everyone with the same brush.

Let them do a fair investigation and see what the response is. How would you feel if the evidence was fabricated and DNLee was doing it for attention? I am not saying that is the case I am saying it is possible.

Yes it was disgusting and no it was not acceptable, my daughter is the brightest in her year and she has expressed interest in doing sciences. I have taught her that this sort of behaviour is NOT to be tolerated.

The most likely case is that Ofek is a douche canoe, the evidence for that will be in the server logs and he will be handed his arse. Until then lets keep our heads on our shoulders and think with them.
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Re:

Postby dogen » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:06 am

honee_v wrote:If the complaint is proven true and Ofek failed to give an ethical reason for his behavior I too would ask that he sends his apologies and that fair action must be taken to prevent this incident from happening again.

I also came here thanks to IFLS. Like the thousands of people who responded on Facebook, I'm also appalled to hear that anyone, especially someone acting in a professional capacity, would demean a woman for daring to turn down an offer. However, I'm also dismayed to think that "if the complaint is proven true" that there follows the caveat that perhaps there was an "ethical reason" to call DNLee a whore. Perhaps this is merely being diplomatic and covering bases, but this is not the sort of situation in which that plays well. There is a sad irony in that title of this thread being, "When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?" and your implicit response, "When there's an ethical reason." Please tell me, what sort of reason might make it ethical to call a woman a whore? Because from where I stand - and the majority of the people who have posted in this thread and on Facebook - the answer is "never," and your equivocation is poorly thought out and, frankly, unjust.
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Re: When is it okay to call a scientist a whore?

Postby MrProsser » Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:11 am

Guys guys settle down, Ofek was hired recently, it was HIM that made the error and you are calling for this entire site and all the rest of the staff to be cut off? Good job painting everyone with the same brush.


Umm, who is calling for the entire staff to be booted? The comments I have read are pretty clear, the person that did this should be gone. Biology-Online is being pretty slow about this though, how long does it take to check e-mail logs? Surely they could issue a statement of some sort, beyond asking for more time to investigate. This is a crisis situation, they should be able to respond with more than that.
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