Monday, January 08, 2018

Rest in Power, Ben Barres

I recently learned that Ben Barres died at the end of the year.

When his article about gender came out in 2006, I was in grad school at Yale. (Also known as Snooty U, in past years). I wrote to Dr. Barres - and I don't remember, all these years later, exactly what I said - but I wrote that I was frustrated, and I could see discrimination around me, and I could feel the discrimination, and I didn't see how I would ever become a research scientist.

He wrote back to me, a great kindness to a stranger amidst what must have surely been hundreds and hundreds of similar messages.  The West Coast is nicer, he wrote; maybe you could be happier here.  The Yales of the world are the worst places for a young woman like you to be, he wrote.  I hope you find perseverance and strength and success.

I didn't end up as research scientist, and I doubt I ever will, but I will always remember his kindness.  Rest in power, and the knowledge that you did righteous work of so many kinds, Dr. Barres.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:32 PM

    Such an amazing person. A great loss indeed.


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