English biochemist Sir Tim Hunt won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine back in 2001, but now he is more widely known as Sir Sexist Pig.
Hunt was speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea this week when he explained to the audience why he is in favor of single-sex labs.
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” he said.
“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.”
You see, all the ladies love Hunt, because he is just so irresistible and such a smooth talker.
Here he is talking about cell division, which might get you all hot and bothered.
Unfortunately, he is probably going to find it difficult for anyone to fall in love with him again after that comment.
He later apologized for the timing of the remarks, but stood by his beliefs, telling BBC Radio that it was “a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists.”
He added: “I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me, and it’s very disruptive to the science because it’s terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field.”
The Royal Society, of which Hunt is a fellow, also issued a statement distancing themselves from Hunt and his comments.
The Royal Society believes that in order to achieve everything that it can, science needs to make the best use of the research capabilities of the entire population. Too many talented individuals do not fulfil their scientific potential because of issues such as gender and the Society is committed to helping to put this right. Sir Tim Hunt was speaking as an individual and his reported comments in no way reflect the views of the Royal Society.
And here are some of the reactions from people Twitter.
Had *such* trouble doing good science today. What with the crying, and battling my way through hordes of suitors. So distracting. #timhunt
— Katherine Twomey (@ke2mey) June 10, 2015
I am in the office, but I can’t do my science work as I saw a photograph of #TimHuntand now I’m in love, dammit https://t.co/vxVI61UwuL
— Prof Sophie Scott (@sophiescott) June 10, 2015
Following Sir Tim Hunt’s useful advice I’ve updated the laboratory signage #distractinglysexy pic.twitter.com/GLswQjgk41
— Tom Bishop (@FliesInLakes) June 10, 2015
Mind you, guys in the lab were always checking out my nice rack…#distractinglysexy#TimHunt pic.twitter.com/xT7jpL0hiE
— laura baxter (@scientist_me) June 10, 2015
Stopped crying long enough to upload this #distractinglysexy #[email protected] pic.twitter.com/P0d1Fcx02n
— Zoé Vincent-Mistiaen (@zoeivmist) June 10, 2015
Working at home today so that all of those girls in my lab don’t have to fall in love with me. #TimHunt
— Ben Sheldon (@Ben_Sheldon_EGI) June 10, 2015
My supervisor cried so much we used her tears as buffer in experiments. #TimHunt
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) June 10, 2015
Dear department: please note l will be unable to chair the 10am meeting this morning because I am too busy swooning and crying. #TimHunt
— Kate Devlin (@drkatedevlin) June 10, 2015