NYT Obit Beef: Rocket Scientist Yvonne Brill's Achievement on Back Burner

Image: NYT Obit Beef: Rocket Scientist Yvonne Brill's Achievement on Back Burner October 21, 2011 photo of U.S. President Barack Obama, right, awarding the National Medal of Technology to Yvonne C. Brill.

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 11:48 AM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The New York Times has revised the obituary for Yvonne Brill, a pioneering rocket scientist who died Wednesday at age 88, after accusations of sexism swirled when the paper made mention of Brill's cooking skills in the article's opening sentence rather than her science achievements.

In the 1970s, Brill created a design that would become the industry standard — a propulsion system that prevented communications satellites from slipping out of orbit. President Barack Obama gave her an award in 2011 for her groundbreaking work.

Special: Should the Supreme Court Legalize Gay Marriage? Vote in Urgent Poll.

But the beginning of the obituary that ran in Saturday's New York Times made no mention of that accomplishment. Instead, obit writer Douglas Martin's tribute focused on her skills as a mother and a woman in the kitchen.

"She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children," read the opening sentence.

Twitter users balked at the blatant sexism in the obituary.

Margaret Sullivan, the Times' public editor, tweeted that she agreed with readers' outrage, and posted a link to a Columbia Journalism Review article on the gender gap that exists in the sciences.

"There's still a gender gap in the sciences, with far fewer women than men in research jobs, and those women earning substantially less, but it doesn’t help when journalists treat every female scientist they profile as an archetype of perseverance," wrote Curtis Brainard for CJR.

The beginning of the Times revised obit was edited, albeit without acknowledgement, to read:

"She was a brilliant rocket scientist who followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children."

Editor's Note: The IRS’ Worst Nightmare — How to Pay Zero Taxes

Related links:

Tesla Re-Slams New York Time's 'Fake' Review of Electric Car

Issa Demands Page One Retraction from NY Times

New York Times Issues Third Correction on Issa Story

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Caramel Apple Deaths, Illnesses Spreading as Officials Issue Warning

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 13:09 PM

Prepackaged caramel apples have been blamed for five deaths and more than two dozen illnesses in 10 states and now healt . . .

North Korea Sony: FBI, Obama Admin Officially Accuse Country of Hack

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 13:00 PM

The FBI and the Obama administration officially accused North Korea on Friday of perpetrating the massive Sony hack that . . .

Phoenix Police Chief Fired for Defying Orders, Holding News Conference

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 12:47 PM

Phoenix police chief Daniel V. Garcia was fired this week after defying orders from city manager Ed Zuercher and holding . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved