So the focus of my research right now involves engineering yeast to produce progesterone, theoretically to be used as a means of localizing contraceptive production in areas with limited resources. We were invited to give a talk about our work at a local pro-choice event held today. [I am not interested in getting into a political or moral discussion about abortions with anyone here, I only mention it to give proper context. ]
When the MC/one of the organizers of the event was first introducing herself to us and talking about our work, she said something along the lines of “You guys could have picked anything, and rather working on insulin or something you decided that contraceptives were essential.” Which, you know, I cringed a little bit but just smiled, not wanting to get into a discussion on that.
But then when introducing us for our talk, she makes some comment along the lines of “This team looked at the WHO list of essential medicines, and decided that contraceptives were an essential need and should be the focus of their energies, rather than working on something like insulin.”
Uhhhh. I mean, yes, we did decide to work on contraceptives rather than insulin, but what a weird comment to make. From her tone it seemed like she was really trying to imply that we thought contraceptives were more essential than insulin. My whole team was shooting me glances and one sitting next to me whispers “She really shouldn’t say that”
Yep, really shouldn’t. If I had to choose between taking birth control or insulin it would be a pretty freaking easy choice