UCL professor steps down after saying he was in favour of single-sex labs because girls fall in love with men, and ‘when you criticise them, they cry’.
A Nobel laureate who said that scientists should work in gender-segregated labs and that the trouble with “girls” is that they cause men to fall in love with them has resigned from his position at University College London (UCL).
Tim Hunt, an English biochemist who admitted that he had a reputation for being a “chauvinist”, had made the comments at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea, where he 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 criticise them, they cry.”
In a statement published on its website UCL said that it could confirm that Hunt had resigned on Wednesday from his position as honorary professor with the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences, “following comments he made about women in science at the World Conference of Science Journalists on 9 June”.
It added: “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.”
Hunt, a 72-year-old who won the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine, had also said that he was in favour of single-sex labs, adding that he didn’t want to “stand in the way of women”.
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”.
His comments, which were made the addressing a convention of senior female scientists and science journalists, were tweeted by Connie St Louis, who directs the science journalism program at City University, London, and was attending the conference.
She commented: “Really, does this Nobel laureate think we are still in Victorian times?”
Source: The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jun/11/nobel-laureate-sir-tim-hunt-resigns-trouble-with-girls-comments