Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

In the news - Nobel scientist Tim Hunt: female scientists cause trouble for men in labs

Scientists should work in gender-segregated labs, according to a Nobel laureate, who said the trouble with “girls” is that they cause men to fall in love with them and cry when criticised.
Tim Hunt, an English biochemist who admitted that he has a reputation for being a “chauvinist”, said to the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea: “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 criticise them, they cry.”

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The Nobel laureate Tim Hunt has apologised for comments he made about female scientists.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday, Hunt apologised for any offence, saying he meant the remarks to be humorous – but added he “did mean the part about having trouble with girls”.
He said: “It is true … I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.”
The comments have also been roundly criticised by female scientists on Twitter. One woman, a postdoctoral researcher, tweeted: “For every Tim Hunt remark, there’s an extra woman in science that takes an interest in feminism. Ever wonder why there are so many of us?”

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