In one fell swoop, this Nobel Laureate has temporarily brought us back to the 1960s. Tim Hunt is a 72 year old English biochemist who scooped the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine back in 2001. He was speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists earlier this week and, needless to say, his comments have caused quite the stir, given the efforts made daily to dismantle the old stereotypes and sexism that continues to reign across various disciplines. In short, Hunt reckons women should be segregated from men when working in a lab…
— Connie St Louis (@connie_stlouis) June 8, 2015
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls… Three things happen when they are in the lab… You fall in love with them; they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”
And just like that, a million heads are banged off a wall, repeatedly. Oh dear, oh dear oh dear. Of course we don’t need to launch into a dissertation here on all that is wrong with Hunt’s comments, you’ll get the picture yourself.
In a bid to not sound like a total douchebag, Hunt went on to explain that it’s not his intention to stand in the way of women – he’s all for women working in his field – he just doesn’t want them to be in the vicinity of the men who are very hard at work.
Connie St Louis, the science journalism program director at City University in London was the first person to shed light on this ridiculous notion, tweeting his comments during the speech.
He has since apologised, however we doubt if anybody will accept this as an apology, given that he’s only sorry his words have now made the news. Speaking with BBC4’s Radio Today programme, Hunt said he’s “really sorry that I said what I said” and that it was “a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists.”
Well that’s grand, isn’t it? You can calmly untwist your knickers now, ladies.
Rather than explode, female scientists the world over are simply poking fun at Hunt’s comments, and what we’ve learned just this morning, is that Hunt has since resigned.
— Kelly A. Hogan Ph.D. (@Loose_Lab_Rat) June 10, 2015