Thursday, March 20, 2014

is Sexxing up your scientific journal OK? The Journal of Proteomics seems to think so

I saw a Tweet from a college classmate of mine -  Jillian Buriak - that pointed me to this article from the Journal of Proteomics in January 2012.

Harry Belafonte and the secret proteome of coconut milk

And this is what one sees when one goes there:
A "Graphical Abstract" with the text "Here is your coconut woman, as perhaps envisioned by Harry Belafonte. For its proteome, though, have a look at the report inside!".  I guess this is an attempt at a joke about breasts and coconuts?  And how is it appropriate for a scientific paper?

Want to guess about the gender balance of the people who run the journal? Here are the pics from the web site of the main executive editors and officials

Thoughts out there?  Seems pretty inappropriate to me ...

UPDATE 3/21 8 AM - Storifying Twitter comments

UPDATE 3/21 9:26 AM Elsevier says they will take down image but haven't yet.  Bonus - you can download a PPT slide of the brilliant image

UPDATE 3/21 9:34 AM

Some links of relevance
UPDATE 3/22 12:34 PM


  1. Bizarre -- it's like something you'd expect to see in the 1960s -- not 50 years later. Maybe the authors (who are Italian and two of which seem to be women) have a different idea than Americans on what is appropriate humor in the 21st century, but certainly the editors should have advised them.

    1. In the 1960s one would never see this kind of thing. Standards towards women were far higher then that.

  2. Check the last author's name vs names on the editorial board...

  3. Without a doubt this is wrong and even worse, unscientific! I MAY give it to them if they objectify men at the proportion to the demographics at their office and as long as its not gay baiting. Then, maybe.

  4. I'm not sure this is sexist as much as grossly inappropriate and unprofessional.

  5. Introducing the Journal of Broteomics:

  6. How about a dose of anti-Righetti:


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