British Scientist Quits Faculty Job After Sexist Comments

June 11, 2015

Tim Hunt, a British biochemist who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Medicine, on Wednesday quit his job as a professor at University College London amid criticism over his comments on women.

The university issued a statement confirming his resignation. “UCL was the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms to men, and the university believes that this outcome is compatible with our commitment to gender equality,” said the statement.

Hunt has apologized for comments he made about women in science, Times Higher Education reported. In remarks at an event in South Korea before the meeting of the World Conference of Science Journalists, he said: “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…. I’m in favor of single-sex labs.”

In a radio interview, Hunt said he was sorry for any offense he caused. But he also said that he was “trying to be honest,” explaining, “I mean, it is true that I have fallen in love with people in the lab and that people in the lab have fallen in love with me. It's very disruptive to science.”

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