Nobel laureate’s comments creates sexism storm

Nobel prize winner and UK Royal Society Fellow Tim Hunt has caused controversy by saying laboratories should be segregated along gender lines.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Masur
Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Masur

Although Tim Hunt has apologised for his remarks at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea this week, he stood by his assertion that mixed-gender labs were disruptive.

Consequently, the Royal Society of London has released a statement distancing itself from Hunt and he has now resigned from his post as honorary professor at the University College of London.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles at the University of Auckland comments in her blog post on the issues relating to Hunt’s remarks.

“Sir Hunt has made the classic mistake of thinking he has apologised when he hasn’t.” she says.

She adds that the Royal Society also needs to act beyond just distancing itself: “Give all your Fellows and Council training to recognise ALL their unconscious biases and to see that they are unjustified.”

The controversy has been covered in national and global media. Examples include:

Radio New Zealand: Scientist resigns over ‘trouble with girls’ British Nobel laureate creates sexism storm
New Zealand Herald: Nobel laureate stirs storm with comments on ‘girls’ in labs
3 News: Nobel laureate resigns over female faux pas
NewstalkZB: Nobel laureate chastised for sexist remarks
Fortune: Tim Hunt’s “girls” in science comments underscore a deep-seated sexism
Washington Post: Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt resigns after commenting on the ‘trouble with girls’
BBC News: Sir Tim Hunt resigns from university role over girls comment – BBC News
The Guardian: Nobel scientist Tim Hunt: female scientists cause trouble for men in labs
The Telegraph: Sexism row scientist Sir Tim Hunt quits over ‘trouble with girls’ speech
The Mirror: Sir Tim Hunt: Female scientists react to professor’s comments with #DistractinglySexy pictures
CBC News: Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize-winning scientist, resigns honorary U.K. post after sexist remarks
TIME: Nobel Laureate Walks Back Sexist Comments After Backlash
Business Insider: Nobel laureate Tim Hunt resigns over remarks about ‘girls’ in labs
New York Times: Women Respond to Nobel Laureate’s ‘Trouble With Girls’