Nobel Scientist Says Women Take Things Personally; Women Take It Personally
Print Friendly and PDF

From the NYT:

Women Respond to Nobel Laureate’s ‘Trouble With Girls’


LONDON — A Nobel laureate has resigned as honorary professor at University College London after saying that female scientists should be segregated from male colleagues because women cry when criticized and are a romantic distraction in the laboratory.

The comments by Tim Hunt, 72, a biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 for groundbreaking work on cell division, added fuel to a global cultural debate about discrimination against women in science.

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” Mr. Hunt said Monday at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea. “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.” …

“It’s terribly important that you can criticize people’s ideas without criticizing them and if they burst into tears, it means that you tend to hold back from getting at the absolute truth,” he said. “Science is about nothing but getting at the truth, and anything that gets in the way of that diminishes, in my experience, the science.”

University College London said in a statement that Mr. Hunt, who was knighted in 2006, had resigned his post in the faculty of life sciences on Wednesday.

The Royal Society, where Mr. Hunt is a fellow, also sought to distance itself from the comments as some critics called for him to be removed from its rolls.

Print Friendly and PDF