Sign Petition

Daily Mail: issue a full apology to Dr Peiris and Dr Aderin-Pocock

2,437 Signatures Goal: 1,000

On March 17, two University College London academics (Dr Hiranya Peiris and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock) appeared on Newsnight to discuss recently announced discoveries from the Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization 2 (Bicep2) experiment, regarding the early stages of the expansion of the universe.

On March 19, an item in the Daily Mail suggested that the participation of the two scientists was due to their ethnic background, nationality and gender, rather than expertise; it also incorrectly attributed the recent discoveries to "(white, male) American scientists". We offer unequivocal support to our two UCL colleagues, whose academic and public engagement records clearly prove they are excellent guests for the discussion of this topic. We regret the decision of the Daily Mail's columnist to perpetuate the tired stereotype of science as the preserve of white males, and to belittle the considerable achievements of two very successful members of our academic community.

We urge the Daily Mail to issue an official, public apology to the two scientists involved; their columnist's "apology" of March 21 is not sufficient, using the disparaging term 'ladies' rather than 'women' or, indeed, scientists/astronomers.

Initiated by:

UCL UCU Executive Committee

Initial Signatories:

Jon Butterworth - HoD in Physics and Astronomy

Mike Barlow - Head of the Astrophysics Group

Jonathan Tennyson - Massey Professor of Physics

Ofer Lahav -MAPS Vice Dean for Research and Perrin Professor of Astronomy

Giovanna Tinetti - Professor of Astrophysics

Tania Monteiro - Professor of Physics

Jon Agar - Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Serena Viti - Professor of Astrophysics

Gaetana Laricchia - Professor of Physics

Steven Miller – Professor of Science Communication and Planetary Science

Cecil Thompson - Co-chair of the UCL Race Equality Steering Group

Susan Michie – Professor of Health Psychology, UCL

Robert West – Professor of Health Psychology, UCL

Helen Hackett - Professor of English, UCL

Bas Aarts – Professor of English Linguistics, UCL

Susanne Kord – Professor of German, UCL

Lucie Clapp – Professor of Vascular Physiology, UCL

Cecile Laborde – Professor of Political Theory, UCL

Sean Wallis - UCL UCU president, London Region HE secretary and UCU NEC member

Tony Brown - UCL UCU Branch Secretary

Rachele De Felice -UCL UCU Executive Committee member

Mark Ford - Professor of English

Richard North - Professor of English

Philip Horne - Professor of English

Rachel Bowlby -Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature

Peter Swaab - Professor of English

Susan Irvine -Quain Professor of English Language and Literature

Rosemary Ashton - Emeritus Quain Professor of English Language and Literature

7

Highlights

March 27
I'm very happy to do this. On behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society I sent a link to our supporting note to Paul Dacre and have also yet to receive a reply.
March 27
The Daily Mail should apologise to both the UCL scientists and the BICEP2 science team.
March 27
As a Professor of Astrophysical Sciences in Princeton University, I can attest to the high level of expertise Drs. Peiris and Aderin-Pocock have in the field of cosmology in general, and measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background in particular.
March 27
Totally appalled by the Daily Mail's behaviour, but sadly not surprised. Congratulations Drs Peiris and Aderin-Pocock on your excellent research!
March 27
Dr Peiris, a reader at UCL, was not given her position based on her gender, ethinic background or nationality and achieveing the position of reader at UCL is by no means easy. Dr Aderin-Pocock has also successfully been awarded three fellowships - again this is a significant achievement, especially in an increasingly competitive scientific environment. If the Daily mail employed people of equivalent competence at their jobs, I'm sure I wouldn't need to sign this petition.
March 27
As a female scientist I hope that my discoveries are given due credit, not re-credited to my male colleagues
March 25
We are now live!

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  • Dave Ladbrook
    Dave Ladbrook United Kingdom
    Sep 21, 2014
    Sep 21, 2014
    I agree with Jonathan Moran's comments.
  • Richard Le Corney
    Richard Le Corney United Kingdom, Nottingham
    Jun 02, 2014
    Jun 02, 2014
    When will the Daily Mail get out of its time-warp? The rag would be a joke, except that there are too many bigots who use it to prop up their own prejudices.
  • Michael Starrs
    Michael Starrs United Kingdom, London
    Apr 23, 2014
    Apr 23, 2014
    Shocking situation to place this lady and her children in , pandering to selfish nasty racist scum ! UKIP , EDL and the Tories.
  • David Fletcher
    David Fletcher United Kingdom, London
    Apr 17, 2014
    Apr 17, 2014
    Very sad that a natioanl newspaper should make such comments.
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2437

Signatures

  • 2 years ago
    eamon verrall United Kingdom
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Dave Ladbrook
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    James Couzens
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Richard Le Corney
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Jason Rawlings
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Tom Pengilley
    2 years ago
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    Tamara
    2 years ago
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    Maria do Mar Pereira
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Martin Garthwaite
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    JP Munyarukato
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Michael Starrs
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Maureen McNeil (Prof)
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    David Fletcher
    2 years ago
  • 2 years ago
    Cordelia Lynn
    2 years ago
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    Stephen Cowden
    2 years ago
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