I'd be interested in hearing from the female-identified scientists of my acquaintance (melebeth, coraline and others). What do you make of this?
It almost seems a comedy of errors to me. Ms. Huang's advice seems wrong, but so does Science magazine's response. No matter who or how good, every advice columnist is going to slip up now and then. I can think of cases where Miss Manners, Dear Abby and Dan Savage - all advice columnists I've read from time to time - made some pretty whopping errors and often apologized afterward.
But some errors aren't just errors - they're harmful. And when you're harming people (women) who are already in a disadvantaged situation (graduate and higher level work in the sciences) is that just an error to be apologized for? Or does it call for something more?
I honestly don't know what I think of such situations.
(Thanks to aelf for the original pointer.)