Just wrapped up a meeting sponsored by the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy and Princeton University's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Institute on the topic of antibiotic resistance at the animal-human interface. While I was there, I hopped on Twitter at a break after mingling and pumping--and got my ass Twitter-splained. I should note that i have no idea who Doc Ricky is--or if said Doc is a man or a woman, but either gender can be susceptible to doubting the expertise of women and relying on men to "set them straight" as it appears happened here. Storify follows (link here).

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  1. Another article using "superbugs"  - and calling to action blaming antibiotic use on farms. #kneejerk
  2. @drricky That's by @aetiology who has done her homework and may well know a lot more than you about this. Your hashtag may apply you.
  3. @SavorTooth Not going with the argument from authority fallacy. Article ends with a call to action that isn't well thought out.
  4. @SavorTooth I have been looking at the data. Go past the false equivalence of the antibiotic classifications.
  5. @drricky Yeah, and she studies the data professionally at Iowa State. Hardly knee jerk.
  6. OK, so I know not everyone knows me or what I do. And my name is pretty common, so sometimes Google-fu is tough. Maybe linking to my website would help clear things up...
  7. .@SavorTooth @drricky Every post I write isn't going 2 b science-heavy. Search my blog or pubs, plenty science there. 
  8. @aetiology @SavorTooth I call to question this particular post because it alludes to certain scientifically dubious premises.
  9. I also pointed out that even in the post, I don't put blame only on ag antibiotics. Even at the "Superbugs" meeting, we discussed human-use antibiotics. One of the speakers was Dan Uslan (@dan_uslan), an infectious disease doctor at UCLA. No one is dismissing this as a cause of resistance.
  10. @drricky I call in farms and clinics--note I described what docs/hospitals are doing. Any antibiotic use -> resistance.
  11. @aetiology @SavorTooth been combing pubmed for “smoking gun” articles for years.
  12. @aetiology yes - all antibiotics are of finite usage. But not all equivalent.
  13. @aetiology @SavorTooth Yes, indeed, I agree re: totality of evidence. But also indictment without sufficient evidence is unjust too.
  14. At this point, lunch at my meeting had ended and I went back to work--listening to other speakers talk about their work on antibiotic resistance. (My talk was yesterday). Meanwhile, all of these popped up:
  15. @aetiology @SavorTooth (btw - impt premise - I am going to keep this as academically neutral as possible) #discussionmode
  16. @aetiology consider the "call to action" ending of the article links to the pewtrusts advocacy. But it doesn't detail what will be done.
  17. @aetiology @SavorTooth The WHO report doesn't directly finger farm usage, but the pew trusts action pushes the 70% figure.
  18. @aetiology @SavorTooth The casual appearance of false equivalence in discussion antibiotics is problematic.
  19. @aetiology Abx resistance is a complex topic  impt to consider that resistance pbly evolved w the antibiotic
  20. @aetiology And the Davies review took care to define "superbug" in their paper  but this may not be the vernacular
  21. @aetiology @SavorTooth empiric antibiotic prescription in clinics as well as unsupervised used and disposal may be bigger problem.
  22. Obviously, he hadn't checked out my website!
  23. .@drricky @SavorTooth Are you really explaining antibiotic resistance to me?
  24. I didn't pull the "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?" card directly.
  25. .@drricky I'm currently at a small meeting @ Princeton w/ world's experts on topic of antibiotic resistance. Guess what? I'm one of them.
  26. Willem van Schaik is another microbiologist (in the Netherlands). He affirmed that I know my shit.
  27. @aetiology @drricky I've read the blog-post and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
  28. @aetiology @drricky 'possibly reducing antibiotic use on farms, though optimism is mixed regarding how much that will actually help things'
  29. @aetiology @drricky is a very fair assessment of the current situation
  30. There may have been some snark.
  31. @aetiology @drricky this is pretty funny, actually. Like explaining to LeBron what a jump shot is.
  32. Best mansplaining thread ever MT “@aetiology: @drricky I'm at a mtg w/ world's experts on topic of abx resistance. Guess what? Im one of em”
  33. Apparently this affirmation appeased Doc Ricky, who earlier "was not going with the argument from authority fallacy." Guess it's different when the authority is a guy?
  34. @cmyeaton @chenghlee @aetiology @drricky always a good move to back down once a white dude shows up to back a woman up. #gross

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@drricky could have been written off as an apologist for agricultural antibiotics or a political operative if it wasn't for the concession once @WvShaik showed up. @Jkgoya nailed it. Congrats to @aetiology for remaining professional throughout.

At the time of writing the post, I didn't know who he/she was. However, since writing, I have had more than one person inform me of his identity, based on several types of information. No one is really anonymous on the internet, but as I noted, I won't be sharing that information.

I see. I guess that explains how our perceptions of this are so different.

I thought since you were both in the same field and in the Scio circles that you knew each other.

So as I was watching the discussion go by in real time since I followed you both, I was kind of surprised that you were using your "authoritah" to dismiss a minority researcher in your field who happens to disagree on the something you publicly wrote. I thought he had earned a seat at the table and I didn't understand your attempts to repress him. I only later found out that you were the one being repressed.

Got it.

By Mary Mangan (not verified) on 15 May 2014 #permalink

Gotcha. No, I'd never come across him before. I didn't go to Scio14 because of the baby and I hadn't come across him on Twitter previously-. And it looks like he only has 1 pub to date in this field and isn't a first or last author, so I've not come across his work/name either before this. As I noted, I'm always happy to discuss my work, its strengths and limitations, and in this field, I am very used to disagreement. I've been at 2 conferences in the past month with people from the ag industry, and we clearly don't see eye-to-eye on this topic but I've always at least felt respected by them. With this, not respected at all, even though I clearly identified myself and my bio is readily available through the sidebar or a simple Google search.

Hi, can someone explain to me what exactly in the twitter discussion made you think that there was some "mansplaining" going on? Did Doc Ricky at any point imply that the author needed explaining on her expertise field simply because she's a woman?

I'm not trying to "troll" or defend his conduct nor deny that this happens, way too often. if that's the tone coming out of my words please bear with me as English is not my first language.

I'm genuinely trying to understand what convinced you that misogyny was behind Doc Ricky behaviour and not generic arrogance.

Hi again, i've just read the follow-up post.
Just to be clear, i'm not trying to persuade you or anyone that your perception of what happened is wrong, just trying to better understand the issue.

Perhaps not "simply because," but as I noted in the follow-up post, it's all too often the default assumption that because a person is female, she is less capable in many areas. I have my picture and name on here, and on my Twitter account, yet was totally ignored until a man came along and said, "y'know, I'm also an expert and I can vouch for her that she's absolutely correct."