Connie St. Louis: How genuine is the woman who took down Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt via Twitter campaign?

Connie St. Louis, director of science journalism at City University, London and the woman whose relentless twitter campaign eventually led to the resignation of Nobel laureate, Tim Hunt. But who really is Connie St. Louis?

Many women working in science centers, laboratories caught on her twitter campaign, and posted sarcastic tweets to get back at Tim Hunt’s sexist comments.

As for St. Louis’s background, an outline of her curriculum vitae says she “is an award-winning freelance broadcaster, journalist, writer and scientist.”

“She presents and produces a range of programmes for BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service . . . She writes for numerous outlets, including The Independent, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC On Air magazine and BBC Online.”

However, the daily mail has gone on to explore and discovered that “almost all of these supposed ‘facts’ appear to be untrue.”

The Director says she was completely shocked by Hunt’s “sexist” comments at a conference in Seoul, South Korea, which “utterly ruined” the meal they were being treated to. However, while many were quick to criticize the Noble-prize winning scientist for his condescending remarks about women, other versions of the conversations are now coming to light. According to The Daily Mail:

“…early this week, the simmering dispute took a further, seismic twist.

It came courtesy of The Times newspaper, which revealed the contents of a leaked report into Sir Tim’s fall from grace compiled by an EU official who had accompanied him to the Seoul conference.

This individual, who has not been named, sat with him at the lunch and provided a transcript of what Sir Tim ‘really said’.

Crucially, it presented a very different take to the one which had been so energetically circulated by Connie St Louis.

The report began by confirming that Sir Tim had joked about falling in love with women in laboratories and ‘making them cry’.

However, it said he’d prefaced those comments with an ironic introduction, joking that they would illustrate what a ‘chauvinist monster’ he was.

The report then revealed the existence of an entire second half of the controversial toast.
In it, Sir Tim was said to have told his audience that his remark about ‘making them cry’ was, indeed, an ironic joke.

He purportedly said, ‘now seriously . . .’ before going on to speak enthusiastically about the ‘important role’ women scientists play. He ended by joking that his largely female audience should pursue their trade, ‘despite monsters like me’.

The report’s author added: ‘I didn’t notice any uncomfortable silence or any awkwardness in the room as reported on social and then mainstream media,’ going on to describe the speech as ‘warm and funny’.

While the new account of the same incident raises question marks about the level of criticism directed towards the Nobel Laureate, many are still skeptical and not in support of his reinstatement.

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