Yesterday, we celebrated huge strides in the support of women in STEM, but today, some Nobel Laureate decided to share that he thinks women in the science world are better off in segregated labs. Wait, is this 1960? “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls," English biochemist Tim Hunt said during the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul. "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." Hunt was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 2001.
He went on to mansplain that he didn't want to stand in the way of women — they should just be in gender-segregated labs. Oh, thank goodness we didn't get our panties in a wad over nothing! Connie St Louis, the science journalism program director at City University, London, tweeted his comments during the speech. The 72-year-old Hunt has since apologized, if you can call it that. He told BBC Radio 4's Today program that he was "really sorry that I said what I said" and that it was "a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists." So basically, he's only sorry that what he said got leaked publicly. Fortunately, female scientists are taking it in stride, rather than crying into the sleeves of their pink lab coats.
Gina Baucom sagely reminds us:
Thanks, lady scientists of the world. Keep on being awesome (and not spontaneously falling in love with guys like Tim Hunt).
Update June 11th: Tim Hunt resigned from his post as honorary professor at University College London following the backlash from his remarks.