In contrast to traditional species-naming practices, which only recognise one of two distinct genders with the suffixes “-ae” for women and “-i” for men, a new ant species from Ecuador has been named using the gender non-binary identifier “they” instead. The ant Strumigenys ayersthey was named after artist and human rights activist Jeremy Ayers.
Alessandro Strumia at the University of Pisa, Italy, was speaking to an audience of women beginning their careers in science at a CERN workshop on gender and high energy physics. He gave a talk claiming that the reason men are so over-represented in the field of physics is because they are “over-performing”, and that physics was “invented and built by men”. Strumia also claimed that women have “been allocated too much funding” and been “promoted into positions of power unfairly”.