In response to this misogynistic nonsense by Ed Rybicki published in Nature in September, I chose to cancel my personal subscription to the journal in protest. Ed wrote it and he’s been castigated extensively in the blogosphere (awesome Janet Stemwedel, for example) and in letters to Nature. But my objection is directed more to the lapse in editorial judgment that led to publication of this essay in Nature. Yes, this Nature.
I kept my letter brief so that it would actually be read:
Dear Subscription Representative:
Please cancel my subscription to Nature effective immediately. My subscription label is #BXNNXPZ.
My reason for canceling is to protest the inclusion of the highly offensive article, “Womanspace,” by Ed Rybicki in the 28 September issue. There is no place for such sexist views in any scholarly discourse, much less a legendary journal such as Nature. For an editor to have let this article pass onto the pages of the journal and then to bait readers in the comment thread is unconscionable for any publication.
Thank you for processing my subscription cancellation.
All the best,
The response was polite but had no acknowledgement of or response to my reason for cancellation. Moreover, the suggestion was made that I keep the subscription for its remaining duration since the policy of Nature is not to offer a refund:
Dear David J Kroll,
We apologies for the inconvenience caused to you.
We acknowledge the receipt of your communication regarding cancellation the subscription to the title “Nature”.
Please note as per our company policy we can not process refund once the subscription has been commenced. So, this is advisable to continue with the subscription till expiration. We have cancelled the renewal option, you will not receive any renewal communication from Nature Publishing Group.
Your subscription to the above mentioned title started on July 14, 2011 with VOL 475 ISS 2 and expires on July 5, 2012 with VOL 487 ISS 1 and online part expires on July 13, 2012.
All the issues (print part) are being or schedule to dispatch at below mentioned address:
David J Kroll
1801 Fayetteville St. 2013
Kindly confirm if you still wish to cancel the subscription to the above mentioned title. We shall do the needful.
Thanks & Regards,
We cannot issue a refund once a subscription has commenced?? Surely there could be a refund for unsent issues.
At the very least, you’d think I could get a couple of coupons for their $32 articles.
Keepin’ it classy, Nature.