“I have become toxic”, “I am finished”, said Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt

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A single controversial remark has haunted Nobel Laureate Tim Hunt’s reputation and post, in a conference held in Seoul, South Korea. Professor Tim Hunt won the 2001 Nobel Prize for his discovery in cell Biology and biochemistry and was holding an honorary post in University College of London. Hunt said about his troubles with the girls in the lab… “You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry” and ultimately it will distract your mind from science; also he admitted his reputation as male ‘chauvinist’.

Then he apologized for his comment just after realization of the awful storm that was coming towards, after his silly remark and requested to not to generalize the comment, it was absolutely a problem with him. But only begging an apology not suffices to Hunt’s offence and he lose all the positions he was holding few days back.

In an exclusive interview, Tim Hunt said UCL forced him to resign without giving him the opportunity to explain. Hunt’s wife Mary Collins, a professor in Immunology supported this point, told about the phone call when hunt was still on the plane from Seoul. “A senior manager at UCL phoned me and said Tim had to resign or we fire him”.

Hunt was then lost his post on the European Research Council’s science committee and has resigned from other posts, including membership of a Royal Society committee. “I have become toxic,” he told the Observer. “I am finished.”

The most important part of Hunt’s story is – irrespective of his silly and controversial remark about female scientists; several senior female scientists came to defend him including the physicist Dame Athene Donald, the biologist Professor Ottoline Leyser, and the physiologist Dame Nancy Rothwell. Though they also have taken Hunt’s specific comments critical, they spoke about his great support and encouragement for younger scientists, irrespective of gender and he also mentored and has trained some outstanding female scientists, said Professor Rothwell.

A Short message:

Hi Girls, Women are already proven with their capabilities, they are in into every possible position, stepping equally with men; on and above they take care of men so that men can work better!! So, we shouldn’t bother and react much with these silly comments and feminine issues that come along and it should not be so sensitive. We will get everything through our capability and devotions. Girls, many Hunts are there in our society and we have to be along; better remind yourself that we can make hundreds of Hunt’s and we can destroy too!!

 

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/13/tim-hunt-hung-out-to-dry-interview-mary-collins



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