A white scientist slams sexist trolls with his work on the black hole project for "sexist vendetta" against Katie Bouman

Katherine Bouman, a 29-year-old researcher who has worked on the essential algorithm that has captured the very first image of a black hole, has become the target of online sex trolls seeking to discredit her work. on the historical project.

After the National Science Foundation revealed Wednesday the very first image captured from a black hole, another image began to circulate on social media, showing Bouman reacting enthusiastically to the photo of the mass.

The photo that showed Bouman, hands clasped to the face, as she reacted to the team's performance, has become an instant symbol of female representation in STEM.

But since it received its new fame, a number of sexist trolls on Reddit and Twitter have circulated memoirs opposing the work of Bouman to that of Andrew Chael, a white scientist member of the Event Horizon Telescope team , responsible for the black hole project.

Trolls explained that Chael was actually responsible for "850,000 of the 900,000 lines of code written in the historical algorithm of black hole images" and that he had done all the project work.

But Chael did not delay in correcting this story, claiming that he was sexist and that his thread on Thursday had become viral.

"So, apparently, some people (I hope very little) online use the fact that I am the main developer of the eht-imaging software library … to launch horrible and sexist attacks against my colleague and friend Katie Bouman. Stop, he began in the Twitter feed.

"Our documents used three independent imaging software libraries (including one developed by my friend @sparse_k). Although I wrote much of the code for one of these pipelines, Katie has contributed immensely to the software. it would never have worked without his contributions and the work of many other people who wrote code, debugged and figured out how to use the code to challenge the EHT data. "

"I am delighted that Katie is recognized for her work and inspires people as an example of women's leadership in STEM. I am also pleased that she pointed out that it was a team effort involving many beginning scientists, including many junior women scientists, "she said. he continued. "Together, we are all improving. the number of commits does not tell the whole story of who was indispensable. "

"So, although I appreciate the congratulations for a result I've been working hard on for years, if you congratulate me because you have a sexist vendetta against Katie, would you?" to go and rethink your priorities in life. Otherwise, stick around – I hope to start tweeting about black holes and other topics that fascinate me – including space, being a gay astronomer, Ursula K. The Guin, architecture and musicals. Thank you for following me and if you have questions about ISE!

Chael also clarified that he had not written "850,000 lines of code" for the project and had stated "there are about 68,000 lines in the current software, and no matter how many of those I've personally created it. "

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