[Ed. – The thing is, this ISN’T Western civilization. I ain’t goin’ down with this ship.]
Sir Tim Hunt is a darn good scientist. So good, apparently, that he won the 2001 Nobel Prize in physiology. But none of this matters to the University College London, which just forced this esteemed mind to resign over a joke he made at a conference on women in science in South Korea. The quip has been called “sexist,” you see.
And what was his trespass? Did he take the podium drunken and make lewd comments about women’s anatomy? Was it a remark about wife-battery? It must be just awful, as the 39 words uttered have now ended his career. Here’s the joke he told attendees:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. 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.”
No, I’m not joking. That’s it. Nothing more. Yet it inspired social-media campaigners to hunt for Hunt, and the 72-year-old was ousted from his research position. Is …
Hunt’s wife, Professor Mary Collins, whom The Guardian describes as “one of Britain’s most senior immunologists,” was not immune to the fallout. …
And it didn’t matter that Hunt and Collins quite sincerely did the requisite groveling. Writes The Guardian, “‘I stood up and went mad,’ he [Hunt] admits. ‘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.’ …Collins clutches her head as Hunt talks. ‘It was an unbelievably stupid thing to say,’ she says.”