In academia we are used to the attacks of the right wing on our research as part of their ongoing culture war. The selective quoting of grant application titles and research findings in an attempt to belittle, discredit or otherwise mock the research undertaken in Australia appears to be a national sport, with the finals season around the time of Australian Research Council (ARC) grant announcements. Natasha Bita’s piece "Taxpayer dollars wasted on ‘absurd’ studies that do nothing to advance Australian researchis illustrative of this approach (but also see Ben Eltham’s take-down).

Sadly, The Guardian has now joined these attacks, including emulating the failure to get a comment or clarification from the researcher herself. At least our ABC did give the researcher a chance to defend herself. The outrage is that the researcher wants to look at the experiences of the male partners of endometriosis sufferers regarding sex. Perhaps if this was millions of dollars in funding a discussion would be warranted -- the biases of and within science are well established when it comes to gender. However, this is a small study being undertaken by a master's student -- effectively just research training for her (but it is hoped with some outcomes that help).