Responding to More Feedback

Building off our recent novelty science kit announcement, we’ve also seen blog posts, tweets, and emails on our Psychology category, specifically the Astral Sounds CD and Kirlian Imaging Device, so we decided to address this issue now as well.

First, a little background. Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Edmund Scientifics carried a selection of “psychology” products, including Astral Sounds (page 116 of our 1981/1982 catalog, for example), Kirlian photography kits (see our Popular Science ad from 1975), and subliminal audio tapes to stop smoking/lose weight (page 54 of our Fall 1982 catalog.)  Over the last 5 or 10 years, we’ve received a number of requests from long-time customers looking for items similar to these, so we selected a handful to include in our recent catalogs.

With that, we’ve decided to transition these products to the X-treme Geek category on our site. This category is a selection of popular products from the X-treme Geek catalog, as a way of introducing our sister company to Edmund customers. (Similarly, there is a Science by Edmund Scientifics category on the X-treme Geek site.)

We would like to thank everyone for their feedback on these products. We are so very lucky to have such a passionate group of customers that hold us to a high standard. Companies work tirelessly to get the kind of customers we have, so we want to work tirelessly to make sure we’re living up to the standard you expect.

On Girls/Boys Novelty Kits

Note: Updated 12/1 below to address a question we’ve received from a good number of customers.

We’ve received a ton of negative feedback lately on our Girls and Boys Novelty Kits categories, through emails, blog posts, tweets — you name it. We have also read a few other posts on the topic, on sites like Scientific American and MSNBC’s Cosmic Log. Today, I’d like to announce a change to our site — one that better reflects our beliefs.

We have officially removed the Girls and Boys Novelty Kits categories from our site and replaced them with a single Novelty Science Kits category.  Our original intent was not to project gender bias, but to organize our product selection in a way that makes it easy to find specific items. We now realize that decision resulted in a category structure projecting gender bias and defining gender roles. We regret that choice, as it does not reflect our intent or beliefs.

The product selection of this new category remains the same, however, as they are simply a small selection of novelty kits that aim to combine fun DIY activities with a basic exposure to science. These kits make up around 10% of our larger Science Kits category and a much smaller percentage of our overall selection of educational science activities aimed at children.

Our main goal is to help parents inspire their kids to explore the world through science. To help parents & kids expand on their interests and develop new ones they never knew existed. We take pride in our wide selection of subject matter, from advanced robotics and alternative energy to the basics of astronomy, chemistry, physics, and biology.

We very much hope our products inspire the next Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackburn, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison. or Carl Sagan. On a grander scale, though, we just hope to inspire more people (especially young people) to be interested in science, to be curious, and to ask questions — we think the world would be a better place.

Update (12/1): We wanted to add an update to this post, as we’ve received this question many times: what about the individual products? We will be evaluating product lines after the holiday season is over. A good number of kits in the novelty category are already in clearance, which means we’ve decided to no longer carry those items. The category change was “step one” — something we could do right now to address the issue. More changes will be coming in the new year.

Thank you to everyone for reading, commenting, and sharing your feedback. The response has been overwhelming!