Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Education

Smitten by Giraffe: My Life as a Citizen Scientist

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Education

Smitten by Giraffe: My Life as a Citizen Scientist

Article excerpt

Smitten by Giraffe: My Life as a Citizen Scientist

By Anne Innis Dagg

Montreal, QC: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016, 256 pages

ISBN: 9780773547995

Anne Innis Dagg has had a wonderful life. Despite the academic sexism present in her professional career as a scientist, she has been able to pursue her passions and push for a difference in the treatment of women in universities, publishing, and employment. Smitten By Giraffe (2016) chronicles Dagg's love of animals, of pursuing accurate information through rigorous data collection, and the desire for equal rights for women in academia. Dagg is, by her own admission, "the sort of person who needs to be busy." Her work ethic and drive has led her to publish over one hundred articles and books, and to found her own publishing company. She offers her own unique insider perspective, stories, and occasional humorous anecdotes on everything from zoology to teaching and researching.

Dagg details the academic sexism that outsiders may find particularly shocking. Dagg tells stories of being refused positions, jobs, and research funds, simply because of her sex, something that most would find appalling today. She notes that in her day, only 15.5% of university faculty in Canada were women (p. 172). As a professor at the college level for seven years, and as a male, many of my professors were male--and still are.

It is heartening to read Dagg's tales of the efforts she made to combat the sexism she saw, fighting for equality of professors seeking tenure to female students seeking to play sports. It is equally heartening to read of the number of people who were working with her, both women and men. The work of Dagg and others like her may finally be making gains: Statistics Canada reports that preliminary data for the 2016-17 University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS) suggests that 40% of full-time academic staff are now women, with full professorships for women increasing from 23% to 30% (Statistics Canada, 2017; Ferguson, 2016). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.