Think before you speak… particularly if you plan on saying something condescending about women scientists. This ain’t the 17, or 18th century when men could get away with their bigoted, sexist statements about women in their field. Times are changing for the opposite gender, and they are now more aware of their rights than ever before.
With a huge majority of women now being highly independent, self-empowered, and following their goals – it’s time to give women the respect they deserve.
This became even more apparent when a Nobel prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt, made a sexist remark about women scientists at a science journalism conference a few weeks back in South Korea, landing him in some serious hot water.
He was forced to resigned from his honorary post at UCL earlier this month following the reaction to comments he made. He claimed women in labs “cry” when criticized and “fall in love” with male counterparts.
The president of University College London has said that Prof Sir Tim Hunt will not be reinstated.
Prof Michael Arthur said that he “regretted” the personal difficulty suffered by Sir Tim, who has been accused of sexism.
But he said his comments about women in laboratories had struck “such a discordant note”.
He said they were at odds with the university’s aim to create a working environment where women felt respected and supported.
Prof Arthur added in a statement in the staff news section of the UCL website that Sir Tim’s offer of resignation was his personal choice and the honourable thing to do.
He said that despite many calls for him to reinstate Sir Tim, there had been “very significant” representations to him not to do so – and not only from women in science.
“Our view is that reversing that decision would send entirely the wrong signal and I have reason to believe that Sir Tim would also not want that to happen,” he said.
His resignation prompted many messages of support for Sir Tim from scientists, including many Nobel prizewinners calling for his reinstatement.
Professors Richard Dawkins, the popular evolutionary biologist and author, described criticism of Sir Tim as a “witch-hunt”
But Prof Arthur said in his statement that “an honorary appointment is meant to bring honour both to the person and to the university”.
“Sir Tim has apologised for his remarks, and in no way do they diminish his reputation as a scientist.
“However, they do contradict the basic values of UCL – even if meant to be taken lightly – and because of that I believe we were right to accept his resignation.
“Our commitment to gender equality and our support for women in science was and is the ultimate concern.”