Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt has resigned for his post at the University College London, as a result of the immense scandal caused by his sexist remarks about women in scientific laboratories.
Sir Tim Hunt spoke at a scientific conference in South Korea and made the tremendous mistake of over-sharing his personal views regarding working alongside women in a laboratory.
“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.” said Professor Hunt.
This statement has essentially ended his carrier, as both the scientific community and the media exploded in a giant wave of utter hatred aimed at Professor Hunt.
There was even a hashtag campaign meant as a response to his comment, called “#distractinglysexy”. It featured all kinds of women in their professional attire, ranging from long white lab coats to a wide variety of protective suits, that are not flattering to any shape and size, to say the least.
Women have been wearing these everyday and somehow they never realized they could appear distractingly sexy to their male colleagues. There were also quite a few posts that focused on the part about women crying at work, as this is one the classic sexist remarks about women in the workplace.
Sir Tim Hunt is not a pariah of the scientific community, as nobody wants to have anything to do with him after his offensive public remark gained so much hatred from every single feminist out there.
As a result, he resigned from his honorary professorship post at the University College London this Wednesday. He acknowledges the fact that his carrier is over from this point on, but he feels disappointed that all academic instituted have immediately dismissing him, without even bothering to ask him about his side of the story.
To be fair, Sir Tim Hunt’s comment was pretty self explanatory. He said that it was actually meant as a joke and that it should not have been taken so seriously, but nobody is laughing. You don’t even have to be a feminist to find his comment insulting.
Somehow, it is pretty predictable that telling a big room filled with female scientists that your problem with “girls” in the lab is that they tend to cry when criticized is going to be social suicide. And you would expect a Nobel prize laureate to be able to think that far ahead.
He said that his future work was focused on making science more appealing to young people in Europe, but that he does not see how such a could happen at this point. And he is right to think that, as the stigma from this scandal will never really go away.
Ironically, Sit Hunt’s wife, who is also a brilliant scientist, told the press that her husband is actually the one who takes care of the housework and that he is glad to do so. She said that his comment was indeed out of place, but that he is not the chauvinistic bastard that the media has portrayed him to be.
At this point, there is not much that could be done for Sir Tim Hunt’s carrier. There are quite a few lessons to be learned form this cautionary tale, as it is always a very bad idea to over share in public settings.
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