Even nobel prize winners cannot say everything without getting in trouble. Last monday, Tim Hunt, who won a nobel prize in physiology of medicine in 2001, made sexist comments at a science conference. Yesterday, he resigned from his job at the University College London.
According to mister Hunt, female scientists and male scientists should work in separate labs. Wondering why? For three reasons, Hunt said: “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.” When Hunt made these comments, he was addressing a convention of senior female scientists and science journalist in Seoul.
The University College London (UCL), where Hunt worked, has now issued a statement on its website to say that the professor resigned from his job there. They write: “UCL was the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms to men, and the university believes that this outcome is compatible with our commitment to gender equality.” Before that, the Royal Society, a fellowship of eminent scientists, distanced itself from Hunt’s comments.
Sexism in science is a much discussed topic. Just last week, five Dutch professors started a website called Athena’s Angels, to gather stories about sexism in Dutch science.
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