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An Astronomer Called Scientists "Boys With Toys" And This Is How Twitter Reacted

News flash: Women like science!

Posted on May 18, 2015, at 5:29 p.m. ET

In a recent NPR article, astronomer Shrinivas Kulkarni described many scientists as "boys with toys." Scientists responded on Twitter with the hashtag #girlswithtoys to remind the world that science is not gender exclusive. Here's what we learned:

1. Pregnancy is not some disease that prevents you from doing science or other meaningful work.

A very pregnant me with the engineering model of the @MarsRovers at JPL in March 2009 #GirlsWithToys #SelfieToSpace

2. In fact, women do some pretty important work, like trying to find dark matter.

Hey look I'm helping build a new dark matter detector. #GirlsWithToys http://t.co/jE92aUbpJO

3. And girls ARE into tech too.

My 1st participation with hashtags in response to Caltech prof's sexist comment #girlswithtoys http://t.co/G3f7zrmkyB

4. And they even build their own instruments.

#GirlsWithToys This astrobiologist/scientist builds her own toys!! Me with my prototype Mars sample extraction system

5. Lots of male scientists weighed in on the conversation to show their support.

.@chandraxray was launched by the Space Shuttle - directed by a woman with a female crew member - & our Director is a woman #GirlsWithToys

6. And we learned that little girls in pink dresses enjoy their tools too. You're never too young to be interested in science.

.@NoisyAstronomer Guess #GirlsWithToys could work for those not actually working yet? #ChildrenInSTEM

7. Hard hats are not just for men.

500ft in the air at Arecibo Observatory: the world's largest single-aperture telescope! #GirlsWithToys #WomeninSTEM

8. And women enjoy operating complicated machinery too.

In 2015, are we still referring to scientists as "boys with toys?" #girlswithtoys @krhorton Dr. K. Renee Horton

9. Let's not forget about the importance of liberal arts and science communication, either.

Some of us #girlswithtoys are science writers AND astronomers. ;) Me with my planetarium dome. ;)

10. Studying planetary collisions is not an easy task.

#GirlsWithToys Me with my toys, where I do shock experiments to study planetary collisions. http://t.co/ZtZ60J0lnm

11. It's important to remember female scientists from our past who contributed to our advancement.

Jackie Cochrane, 1st woman to fly faster than speed of sound (F-86 Sabre jet) #girlswithtoys. http://t.co/YWIFElDpqG

12. But let's not forget about today's explorers who help us understand the cosmos.

.@Astro_Suni holds record for longest single spaceflight for a women & longest EVA duration (female) #GirlsWithToys

13. Neutron diffraction is just a normal day in the office for some women.

Me, cryogenically-loading methane into a high-pressure cell for neutron diffraction. As you do. #girlswithtoys

14. And 3D printing is not just for the good ol' boys.

Barrett & Tiffany keep our #3dprinting going day and night. 3D print at MSL: http://t.co/PvrJmZFC7t #girlswithtoys

15. We wouldn't have been able to reach the stars without women.

Margaret Hamilton, the Engineer Who Took the Apollo to the Moon #girlswithtoys http://t.co/2OHr3hQqcS

16. Or build robots.

I build space robots, fly airplanes, design solar powered cars, and LOVE dropping science. #girlswithtoys

17. Or discover the mysteries of the subatomic world.

Here I am testing a new type of pixel sensor at a beam test experiment at #CERN during my phd. #girlswithtoys

18. In fact, there's tons of female scientists at Caltech, where Kulkarni teaches astronomy.

Using this 14” on the roof of the old astro building at Caltech, we found methane storms on Titan. #girlswithtoys

So he obviously knows better because some of these women have taken his class.

19. The world is filled with female scientists who are using their "toys" to advance knowledge.

For my #girlswithtoys Testing the pH and searching for life in Icelandic hot springs!

Tell us about some of your favorite female scientists using the hashtag #girlswithtoys.

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