Brainard wrote: “Finkbeiner’s profile of UCLA astronomer Andrea Ghez [is] a beautifully written piece about Ghez’s fascination with telescopes and her pioneering work with speckle imaging, which led to proof that a supermassive black hole lies at the center of the Milky Way—and it has nothing to do with her gender.” And commenters responded:

While the “no firsts” rule is very appropriate, what I really want to see more of is “seconds.” “She’s the second woman to win” tells me that the award committee isn’t just looking to check off the “female recipient” box. —Joe Noakes
The rule of “no firsts” is a difficult one for me. I think it can be quite valuable to recognize the significance of a first when it demonstrates how much harder a victory it may have been to achieve. Everyone that follows in those footsteps has it a little easier by virtue of the fact that the barrier was previously broken by that pioneer.” —Marykate Clark
It’s fine to say that science articles should focus on science, but I really take issue with how dismissive Finkbeiner is about women scientists’ comments on gender discrimination and imbalance in their fields. . . . Dealing with gendered assumptions about my competence and career is a fundamental part of my experience; if women scientists go out of their way to tell you that this an important issue to them, maybe you should respect what they are trying to communicate instead of believing that the problems we deal with will disappear if ignored. —Gwen Spencer
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