Education Secretary Nicky Morgan waded into the row over ‘sexist’ Nobel prize-winning scientist Sir Tim Hunt last night, telling him: ‘If you cannot say something nice do not say anything at all.’.
Tim after his statement was forced to resign from his post at the University College of London as well as from the science committee of the European Research Council. “I was very nervous and a bit confused but, yes, I made those remarks – which were inexcusable – but I made them in a totally jocular, ironic way”.
In his column, Mr Johnson cited work By Professor Ad Vingerhoets of Tilburg University suggesting that women cry more than men. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “Sir Tim Hunt was doing what he had done all his life – pointing out a natural phenomenon he had observed”.
The Conservative politician likened the reaction to Hunt’s comments to what he described as “mumbo jumbo” claims by a Malaysian minister that the actions of tourists, including Briton Eleanor Hawkins, who stripped on a mountain considered to be sacred, had caused an quake. All three, spoke highly about his past support for scientists of both genders.
London Mayor Boris Johnson is defending a Nobel laureate who resigned from his jobs at two scientific organizations because of a remark many deemed as “sexist”.
Hunt’s wife Mary Collins, a prominent immunologist, defended her husband to The Observer and said she would never put up with sexism. And it was just discrimination against women in the sciences, it was the subtext to an even larger debate fueled by gender bias. In 2012, researchers at Yale found that physicists, chemists and biologists are prone to favoring young male scientists over women with the same qualifications and are more willing to offer the man a job.
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls” Hunt said at the World Conference of Science Journalists. When women in the study were hired, their salaries averaged almost $4,000 less than what men were paid. “He didn’t deserve to be pilloried, and should be reinstated forthwith to his academic positions”.
In response to his criticism and public outcry regarding his seemingly sexist comments, Hunt Saturday down with BBC to clear up the air surrounding last Mondays events.
Look before you tread, think before u comment!
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