“Tim Hunt has been made a scapegoat for sexism in science”

Tim Hunt smiling

The title is from a quote by female journalist Tan Siow Chin, who was at the luncheon that Tim Hunt spoke his infamous remarks. In a blog post by Louise Mensch, which I recommend you all read here, Tan Siow Chin reports (emphasis as originally quoted):

What has not been reported, which I feel is important and adds balance to his earlier comments, is that he also added that men would be the worse off for it (if the genders were segregated).
I did laugh at his comments, because it was very obvious to me that he was saying it in a very light-hearted and joking manner. I was not offended at all, because I did not think he meant it seriously, in particular, his comments on segregating the sexes. And yes, I did applaud as well.
I did not notice my neighbours’ reactions at the table – to be honest, I had come in late from the previous session and was busy with my lunch – but I don’t remember hearing any particular comments from anyone after Tim Hunt’s little speech.
I think that the whole incident has been blown way out of proportion, and that Tim Hunt has been made a scapegoat for sexism in science. This is really sad because I don’t think he thinks that female scientists are inferior to male scientists,which seems to me to be the point of the whole situation. In addition, if you look at the programme, the parallel session that was sponsored by the European Research Council during the conference and moderated by Tim Hunt had female scientists as its both speakers – hardly the action of a real male chauvinist pig, yes?
Louise Mensch has done the due process that you would suppose a Nobel Laureate, let alone any of us, should be entitled to before being stripped of their honorary titles and their positions taken from them.
Update 9 July 2015: UCL statement on Tim Hunt: “lessons to be learned around the communication process.”
Quote and photo reproduced from Unfashionista blog post
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog

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