Psychologist Cordelia Fine is the third woman in a row to win the £25,000 award, which has been described as the Booker prize for science writing. Her book, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds, follows Gaia Vince’s win for Adventures in the Anthropocene in 2015 and Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature in 2016.
Judges of the Royal Society Insight Investment science book prize, which was awarded in London on Tuesday, praised Testosterone Rex for its eye-opening, forensic look at gender stereotypes and its urgent call for change.
Palaeontologist Richard Fortey, who chaired the judging panel, described it as “a cracking critique of the ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ hypothesis.”
It is the third investigation of gender bias in science by Fine, who is professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Melbourne University. In 2008’s A Mind of Its Own she examined the brain’s ability to deceive itself. Her 2011 book Delusions of Gender challenged the idea that differences were hardwired into male and female brains.
In Testosterone Rex, the 42-year-old author concentrates on hormones, writing in the Observer: “There are no essential male or female characteristics – not even when it comes to risk-taking and competitiveness, the traits so often called on to explain why men are more likely to rise to the top.”
“Testosterone affects our brain, body and behaviour. But it is neither the king nor the king maker – the hormonal essence of competitive, risk-taking masculinity – it’s often assumed to be.”
Read more Why Testosterone Rex is extinct
The book emerged as winner from a six-strong shortlist, which ranged from the frontiers of medical science (Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life and Joseph Jebelli’s In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s), to maths (Eugenia Cheng’s Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of the Mathematical Universe), evolution and artificial intelligence (respectively Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life; Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death).
Judge and BBC broadcaster Claudia Hammond said: “Testosterone Rex stood out from the start. In our sifting for the longlist it was one of only three books that all the judges picked.”
She added that the book had made her question some of her own assumptions, particularly about the association of masculinity with risk-taking. “Having a baby in many parts of the world is risky, as is giving up your job to have a baby. It all depends on what you regard as risk.”
“There have been plenty of books about gender and stereotyping and unconscious bias. What’s original in this book is that she takes apart the science so forensically. I was slightly surprised that it ends with this great call to action, but that is what is refreshing about it,” said Hammond. “It’s also very funny. She manages to be witty in a book that could so easily have ended up sounding hectoring.”
Fine joins Stephen Hawking, Jared Diamond, and Stephen Jay Gould on a winners’ list dedicated to identifying the best in popular science writing.
Broadcaster and particle physicist Brian Cox, who hosts the awards, said science books were “more valuable than ever in today’s so-called post-factual world”.
He conceded that Fine’s win might be seen as a provocative choice by some, but added that “the very idea that a book about science as we currently understand it can be considered provocative tells me that there is something amiss in public discourse”. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/sep/19/testosterone-rex-royal-society-science-book-of-the-year-cordelia-fine
Aside from the obvious Gender Agenda behind the article, there’s another reason I blogged this.
It reminded me of the gender education “scheme” Gendersaurus Rex!
Which in simple terms is FishFace & ScotGov oh-so-casually funding the mind warping of our children!! (links below)
WHAT’S THE DEAL WI DINOSAURS & GENDER F*CKSHITTERY?
Or is it more to do with the word REX? Who knows?!! But i’ll be keeping a wee eye on those damn dinosaurs!!!
- Gender lessons from 18 MNTHS funded by FishFace & ScotGov https://spidercatweb.blog/2017/07/16/gender-diversity-lessons-18-months-old-funded-by-scot-gov/
- Sturgeon’s SNP & ScotGov FUNDS SEX ED FOR 2 YEAR OLDS https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/11/11/snp-scotgov-funds-sex-ed-for-2yr-olds/
- ESTHER RANCID: LOTS of links to paedo. It’s ok! she’s here to HELP Scots kids! https://spidercatweb.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/esther-rantzen-here-to-help-scottish-kids/
- TESTOSTERONE REX?! https://spidercatweb.blog/2017/09/20/testosterone-rex
DAVID BOWIE WAS A RAPIST & A PAEDOPHILE!!
- RECONCILING GENIUS WITH RAPE https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/11/13/reconciling-david-bowies-genius-with-rape/
- Bowie; Rapist & Paedo? Age of consent was 18 but Lori Maddox was 14! https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/05/19/bowie-rapist-paedophile/
- Bowie had sex ‘with more young people than Savile’, paedo pop mogul claims https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/03/11/david-bowie-had-more-young-people-than-savile/
- SATANIST DAVID BOWIE. Pics & Videos https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/01/16/satanist-david-bowie/
- AANGIRFAN ~ DAVID BOWIE https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/01/12/david-bowie/
- AYE EYE BOWIE https://spidercatweb.blog/2016/01/28/david-bowies-eyes/