The media and internet storm that burst out around Nobel Prize-winner Sir Tim Hunt early in June has subsided for now, although more outbreaks wouldn't be surprising. It took till this week for there to be 2 consecutive days without a story from a major media outlet in the UK/US.
I've been heavily engaged in this issue. I wrote 2 blog posts over at my PLOS Blogs home, Absolutely Maybe, and they are the backdrop for this exercise. The first was based on research on the issue of jokes and sexist talk. In the second, I drew on research on the positive and negative sides of outrage in feminism and social action. But I started the information-gathering in this post just for myself. My aim was to understand where the stream of extremists came from so quickly, to structure the events with some objectivity, gain some perspective on the tangle of claims and counter-claims, and learn better how to respond to these situations. I'm posting it in case it's useful to others. (Update: I wrote about what I learned about Twitter aggression here on 28 August.)
I'm summarizing my take on where opinion seems to be in the UK and the US. That's never an easy thing to gauge. What we believe can depend heavily on what we think happened. That's difficult when we're in a maelstrom of events that are confusing - and people are trying to change our opinions, too. Some opinions are so hard-wired, almost nothing will budge them. But it can also be easy to mislead - or be misled. If you've never seen the how-to-ask-leading-questions scene in Yes, Prime Minister, the just over 2 hilarious minutes are definitely worth watching. This was an event that had plenty of scope for that kind of framing effect.
There's been a battle royal for our hearts and minds here - and many of us (certainly me) have been trying to sway others, too. It happened fast. Things shifted quickly. And there was a cacophony of conflicting detail. So after summarizing the opinions, I'll give a shot at very briefly summarizing the current status on issues on which those opinions seem to hang.
A lot of this played out publicly, with a high level of attention from mass media. So I did a formal-ish review of what happened in online mass media (mostly not TV or radio), with a look at some other parts of the internet. I stuck to the UK and the US. This was a far bigger event in the UK than the US - and I think far bigger in those parts of the world than any other. I wanted to try to see what had most propelled events.
The data collection at the basis of this post
The long tail of this post includes what I'm relying on. I've tried to be pretty rigorous, setting rules for myself before I set out. But it's still selective. However, it is transparent so anyone can see what's gone in. I reviewed and gathered some data from:
- Major media outlets in the UK and US that covered the story repeatedly and were often topping Google News,
- Some "letters to the editors" at those outlets that drew particular attention, and
- A few non-media posts from people who seemed to be having influence in the coverage at those outlets or with the major decision makers.
I've included my own posts, not because they met these criteria, but because I want to be able to judge what I wrote in proportion, now, and later after further reflection (my own and others').
Some of these media outlets have very difficult websites and search engines, so things that fit the criteria at a particular outlet could have been overlooked even though I dug hard. In the end, I collected 254 pieces still online (and a further 3 which had been deleted), that had 55,363 comments associated with them. (I read all the pieces that were online systematically, but only a couple of thousand of the comments - I didn't log that, as I was scanning informally to understand sub-cultures.) In addition, I included the statements from key organizations in the timeline too. (A listing of the outlets and number of pieces included have been added in Supplementary File 1.)
Hundreds of comments were common, but many of these pieces had no commenting enabled, commenting was for subscribers only, or the commenting section was buried beneath so much advertising that only the most determined could find it. Commenting often closed after a time. Commenting isn't a reliable indicator of reading for these and other reasons. (For example, one piece with only 25 comments showed 65K shares.) The piece with the most comments had 6,433, and 15 had more than 1,000.
The most coverage was at The Times (44 pieces including some prominent letters), followed by The Daily Mail/Mail Online (34 pieces), and The Observer/Guardian (29 pieces). That doesn't correspond, though, with what propelled this on 8-10 June. That seems to have been a combination of Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, the audiotapes of Hunt on the BBC, and television. (I didn't assess TV, as it was too big a task.)
It's hard to tell what was larger in terms of social media, Twitter or Facebook - that kind of information isn't accessible from Facebook. Where data on Facebook was available on media sites, it was often bigger than Twitter. Topsy.com showed over 19K uses of #TimHunt at the time of posting, but Kiran Garimella tweeted that he scooped up around 250,000 tweets using #TimHunt and #DistractinglySexy in August, with only about 20,000 for #DistractinglySexy. Reddit had some impact, including activism through the Men's Rights subreddit. (I've included some key milestones at reddit in the timeline.)
My opinion on opinions
So what did I make of it? First, public opinion in the spheres reached by these outlets and platforms:
- People are overwhelmingly opposed to someone losing their livelihood over a sexist joke - there wouldn't be many exceptions to this at all. That said, it would shift if the joke was misogynistic or accompanied by a track record of harmful behavior.
- Opinion is split, though, on the question of honorary and committee positions - and few seem to know what that means, if the language they used is any guide.
- It's widely believed that the definitive responses by institutions in the first 48 hours were too hasty and unfair.
- Opinions are split on whether sexist remarks and jokes are acceptable in a professional context, with substantial proportions falling into each of the 'it's never ok', 'it's always ok', and 'it depends on the context' camps. A substantial proportion of people think if it's framed as a joke, or it's from a venerated person, sexism is less unacceptable. A substantial proportion think it's worse.
- Although there's awareness of the consequences of mild everyday sexism and unconscious bias, it didn't seem very widespread.
- People were far more aware of the impact of feminist sentiment mobilized in the media and on the internet - even though the volume coming from "anti-PC" sources was higher. (That's probably because of non-exposure: people who do not look at comment sections outside their preferred habitats or don't become a target may be under-estimating the extent of sexism, misogyny, and racism people express publicly.)
- Each "side" is under-estimating the amount of savagery being expressed on their side.
- #DistractinglySexy was responsible for a considerable proportion of the attention of both mass and social media. It was very popular and seen by many to be witty - including places that were unexpected to me, such The Times' leading articles (editorials) (in the log below). Others saw it all as vicious (as some of it was) and were upset that it transported a "sexist Tim Hunt" message so far. However, the great press attention was focused on more positive examples.
Key details on the main questions apparently affecting public opinion
Did Tim Hunt lose his job and does he have an ongoing way to contribute to science?
The consequences for Hunt were devastating and out of proportion. However, he didn't lose his livelihood, and it wasn't all his positions.
He was, and remains, an emeritus scientist at the Francis Crick Institute.
Hunt resigned from an awards committee at The Royal Society. I found no suggestion that it was a forced resignation.
He reported that he was forced to resign from the science committee of the European Research Council (ERC). The European Commission (EC) is responsible for that committee and has issued no official statement other than that they accepted a resignation. [Update: Concern was expressed by Peter Tindemans, Secretary General of EuroScience, that this was "a flagrant example of disrespecting of the independence of the ERC".]
Hunt's position at University College London (UCL) position was Honorary Professor. According to the UCL website: "Honorary associations of this type are not employment relationships and UCL reserves the right to withdraw honorary status from an individual at any time." UCL Provost, Michael Arthur: "An honorary appointment is meant to bring honour both to the person and to the University. Sir Tim has apologised for his remarks, and in no way do they diminish his reputation as a scientist." (UCL also has honorary fellows - on my count, there are over 300.)
Mary Collins reported that a senior representative of UCL told her that he had to resign or be sacked. UCL has neither confirmed nor denied that. Arthur reported that he spoke with both Collins and Hunt: "Some regrets were expressed in both directions". (An unnamed person from UCL reportedly said the original conversation with Collins "appears to have been misinterpreted".)
What did Hunt say? Was there a transcript?
For more detail, see the log below. Hunt's remarks were a few minutes long. It was at a lunch and he was trying to be lighthearted and entertaining. It was not a private event, and it was not a speech. It was not recorded and there was no shorthand taken, so there is no transcript. There is an audiotaped fragment of one sentence at the conclusion of his talk. Other than that, the only uncontested "quote" is this:
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.
There was some debate about whether he said "my trouble with girls" or "the trouble with girls". That he referred to himself as a chauvinist at the beginning of his remarks seems to be uncontested.
The report by Deborah Blum (a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and academic) is, I believe, the single most reliable source on the overall content. The process for arriving at this judgment has been included in Supplementary File 2 (28 July, expanded detail on 19 October, update on 29/30 May 2016):
- Hunt began by "paying tribute to the capable female scientists that he knew",
- Then came the "trouble with girls" remarks,
- He suggested single-sex labs might be a solution,
- He ended with the hope that nothing stands in the way for women scientists.
Most of those present agree that he said "now seriously" after the single-sex lab remark.
The audiotaped fragment of his final remark was provided by Natalia Demina to The Times, published on 18 July. My own transcription:
Congratulations everybody, because I hope, I hope, I hope - I really hope - there is nothing holding you back, especially not monsters like me.
Were his remarks a joke - and if so, what kind of joke?
Attempts to achieve consensus on categorizing the entirety of his remarks as a joke or not are doomed to fail. That's not just because people interpret and value things differently. I think it's because the remarks are more than one thing.
When someone speaks for several minutes, they can be serious and joking - in turn, or even at the same time. Humor is a classic device to soften harsh commentary. Being self-deprecatory can be a device and habit used to make ourselves charming. As a whole, Hunt was trying to be entertaining. But he was also serious about mixed gender labs being problematic and he stereotyped women scientists in doing that (see his own words - transcribed in the log - and Blum's report). Those jocular remarks were at women's expense as a group. He also poked fun at himself (e.g. "monster" reference).
I've written in some depth about the research in my first blog post (22 June). I don't believe framing a sexist opinion as a joke makes it less sexist, and nor does surrounding a declaration of sexism with charm and good wishes reduce the potential impact of social sanction of a high status person's sexist remarks. Putting a likable face on sexism and accepting sexist beliefs as harmless in people in positions of power is inimical to women's progress in science. (More on this in my second post, 13 July.)
There were conflicting reports about whether or not there was laughter from the audience. Most agree there was. And the audiotaped fragment is followed by warm laughter.
Did Hunt apologize fully?
Yes. He did some harm to himself by the form of some of his apologies, but he was clearly very sincere about regretting harm, even though he did not seem to understand entirely at the outset why his remarks caused so much anger. If he had, he clearly would not have made the remarks in the first place. (Logged below.)
The uncontested quote that set off this episode was corroborated by 3 journalists: Connie St Louis, Deborah Blum, and Ivan Oransky. However, what they had corroborated was very specific. Beyond that, interpretations and accounts differ between them, and between other eyewitnesses, too. That's to be expected, especially as time goes on. (We call that recall bias in my field.)
Connie St Louis' interpretations and accounts were the harshest towards Hunt of the initial high profile accounts, and contained some particularly damaging statements (logged below). Many point the finger of blame at this for all that followed, and argue it would have otherwise been a non-event.
I couldn't find a strong case for that. Change any key event, and things would have played out differently, of course. But in looking closely at what happened in the early part of the cycle, it seems to me it would have been a large event even with a different take from St Louis. It spiraled quickly in different directions, with exaggeration and embellishment added whichever account was used as source. Some of it would undoubtedly have been less savage with a milder starting point.
However, the key event seems to me to be Hunt's audiotaped remarks to the BBC more than St Louis'. They traveled much further and with far more apparent influence on a broader part of the population.
Another determinant was who weighed-in with public opinions. Many of those may have been different with a different initial information base in the first few days. (Mine among them.) But the response would still have been strong. Whether it would have snowballed depended on much more than the interpretation of one person.
That St Louis is a woman of color opened the door to a shockingly extreme stream of vicious abuse and malice. Just how racist it was going to get became clear to me on 24 June. On my lunch break, I settled down to reading The Times online with a cup of tea - and was stunned at the level of racism moderators at such a respectable media platform had allowed through. (The moderation incident is logged at the bottom of this post.) Later, looking closely at the extent of the impact of harassment in this debate, and being on the receiving end of it, I decided to do this analysis.
And finally, what happens to humor in a more "PC" world?
As a feminist, a scientist, and a cartoonist, this is the easiest one for me! For those who fear that the end of making jokes at the expense of outgroups would be the death of humor: you don't really have to worry. Subjects and fashions of humor come and go, both serious and trivial. (Consider the sudden rise and fall of elephant jokes.) New taboos emerge, and old ones disappear. Areas that were once safe to joke about become minefields. But there are always new things to make fun of too. (See what I did there?)
Notes about updates appear at the very end of this post. Other posts in this series:
- The "Un-Calm" After the Tim Hunt Storm
- The Value of 3 Degrees of Separation
- The Outrage Factor - Then and Now
- "Just" Joking? Sexist Talk in Science
Commenting has recently been enabled here, but will be moderated. (It's way down the bottom of this very long post: jump to comment box.) If you comment, be prepared for a significant delay. I don't edit comments, so any that are even in part libelous, ad hominem, or nasty will not see the light of day. Making the same point repetitively is also a shortcut to the delete button.
Given the cultural differences involved in this issue, in case you're wondering, I'm an Australian who has been living in the US for 4 years. I lived in Germany for 7 years before that.
The cartoon at the head of this post is my own (CC-NC license).
Disclosures: I have a full-time day job. Blogging and cartooning are my hobbies, and income related to those activities is below the threshold applicable to me for conflict of interest. I'm a freelance contributor to MedPage Today, where Ivan Oransky is global editorial director. (We haven't discussed the Tim Hunt case, and there has been no financial relationship.) As a scientist and blogger/tweeter, I know quite a few of the people participating in this debate. I met Deborah Blum briefly (less than a minute) at Solutions 2014, had minimal Twitter encounters with her before these events, and have communicated with her about the events since. She has been neither a personal nor a professional colleague, and there has been no financial relationship. I was for a time a blogger at Scientific American - the coordinator/editor there was present in Seoul: we haven't had any contact about these events. I met Dorothy Bishop, who is one of the authors and interviewees in pieces in this analysis, when I was an invited speaker in my scientific capacity at a meeting she chaired on Reproducibility and Reliability of Biomedical Research in London earlier this year: we have discussed the Tim Hunt events. I made some edits to Tim Hunt's Wikipedia page in the thick of the controversy: these are detailed here (all edits to Wikipedia pages are recorded permanently. My Wikipedia name is the same as my Twitter handle: hildabast.) The thoughts I express here are personal, and do not represent the views of any organization I work for or am associated with.
SELECTED MEDIA & INTERNET LOG
I identified 258 pieces, 255 of which I could read (3 had been deleted). There were 55,363 associated comments, as well as additional letters to the editors: I read only a small proportion of those. The data on comments, Facebook likes, and shares were collected across about a week. I was going to do Huffington Post, but I'd reached saturation point and HuffPo hadn't been dominating the international cycle at any point.
Other than 8th to 9th June, and the BBC on the morning of the 10th, it would have been too difficult to maintain chronological order - timing often wasn't reported. I've tried to maintain the same order of outlets within each day, with the US media generally first because there was far less of it and the audiences are so large.
Metrics: Number of comments was the only standard data available. I included number of page views when these were shown online. If there was a number provided that was apparently total shares, I included that. I included Facebook data when provided, although whether they were likes or shares was not always clear. I did not extract data on Tweets as the initial group I looked at to determine feasibility showed this too rarely to be a good indication and other means of evaluating Twitter would provide better data.
Log on which conclusions were based was initially completed on: 6pm (Washington DC), 26 July 2015. Updates noted below. Additional data posted in The "Un-Calm" After the Tim Hunt Storm: completed 8.00 am (Washington DC), 7 September 2015.
The 9th World Conference of Science Journalists was held in Seoul, South Korea, 8 - 12 June 2015. The opening keynote was on the 9th. (Here's the program.)
On the 8th, Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel Laureate, gave a lecture in a parallel session called "Creative Science - Only a Game?" (from 10.00-11.00am). Content, images, and reactions to this talk have at times been confused with the informal remarks at the later lunch. (And here's an interview he gave earlier in the day.)
The lunch to honor women scientists in Korea was hosted by the Korean Federation of Women's Science & Technology Associations (KOFWST) (12.30pm - 1.30pm).
At just after 2.30pm (Seoul time), Connie St Louis, posted the tweet about Tim Hunt's remarks, some of which was in quotes. As of this afternoon (26 July), it had 651 retweets.
The Royal Society: Science needs women - Lede: "The Royal Society has acted to distance itself from reported comments by Sir Tim Hunt FRS about women in science made during an event at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Korea".
The first of 5 pieces on Buzzfeed News, Cat Ferguson: Nobel Prize winner makes shockingly sexist remarks at journalism meeting (53 comments - Muckrack records 2.1K Facebook likes/shares) Lede includes "he expressed his support for sex-segregated labs and admitted he has a reputation as a misogynist". The original version, corrected on the 10th, also included this claimed statement by Hunt that was taken from a tweet (mentioned in over 430 tweets): "Thanks to the women journalists for making lunch". Ivan Oransky was contacted by email.
"I was gobsmacked", Oransky said. "I wouldn't treat them as quotes, per se, given the circumstances, but they're the words he used". "Hunt has not returned a request for comment".
The first of 3 pieces in The Daily Beast, Brandy Zadrozny: Nobel Prize-winning biologist calls women love-hungry crybabies (125 comments)
The first of 34 pieces in The Daily Mail/Mail Online, Steph Cockroft in Mail Online and Alisha Rouse in The Daily Mail. Posted on the 9th (US time - making it the early hours of the 10th in London), updated later on the 10th (revisions not reported). Google retains this headline: Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt says women should be banned from labs. Currently: 'Just look at that monstrous seductress Marie Curie ruining everything': Nobel prize winner is mocked online for saying women should be banned from male labs (952 comments, 2.5K shares)
The first of 12 pieces on the BBC, uncredited, updated 10.05 BST: Nobel scientist Tim Hunt apologises for 'girls in labs' comments (No comment section) Includes both BBC audiotapes of Hunt (transcribed below). Note: The radio broadcast had aired several hours earlier and Daily Mail was online several hours prior to that.
Uncredited, BBC News, 11.04 BST: 'Female scientists looked aghast' at Sir Tim Hunt's remarks (No comment section) Includes video tape of St Louis (transcribed below).
Uncredited, only date shown, BBC Radio iPlayer, Today Programme: Scientist Tim Hunt responds to criticism of 'girls in labs' comments (No comment section). My own transcription:
I did mean the part about having trouble with girls. I mean, it is true that people - 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. And I found that, you these emotional entanglements made life very difficult.
I mean, I'm really, really sorry I caused any offence, that's awful. I certainly didn't mean - I just meant to be honest, actually.
Uncredited, only date shown, BBC News: Sir Tim Hunt 'sorry' over 'trouble with girls' comments (No comment section) Includes 2 clips: one additional audiotape with Hunt from the same recorded conversation as above, and a video clip of an interview with St Louis. (Below my own transcriptions.)
Audiotape of Hunt:
This was a lunch for women journalists and women - particularly women scientists and engineers, actually. And I was asked at short notice to say a few words afterwards, and I thought it was ironic that I came after three women who very nicely thanked the organizers for the lunch. And I said it was odd that they had asked a man to make any comments.
And I'm really sorry that I said what I said. It was a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists. And what was intended as a sort of light-hearted ironic comment apparently was interpreted deadly seriously by my audience. But what I said was quite accurately reported.
It's terribly important that you can criticize people's ideas without criticizing them. And if they burst into tears it means that you tend to hold back from, you know, getting at the absolute truth. I mean what science is - about nothing except getting at the truth. And anything that gets in the way of that, diminishes, in my experience, the science.
I mean I'm really, really sorry that I caused any offense. That's awful! I mean, I certainly didn't mean - I just meant to be honest, actually.
Video of St Louis:
Not in the slightest bit humurous. He stood up, declared that the women had probably prepared the lunch, 'cos that was their role, and then went into this I'm a chauvinist and then into these 3 things that girls are a problem about. And so very clearly, nobody was laughing.
There was a room full of a hundred people - nobody was laughing. Everybody was stony-faced. The female Korean scientists and engineers who'd hosted us looked aghast. And he just plowed on, for about 5 to 7 minutes actually. It was just really shocking. It was culturally insensitive, and it was very sexist and I just, where in the world do you think you are that you think you can be making these kind of comments in 2015?
And I think also the whole backdrop to the problems women are having in science. At the conference we were talking about the problems that women are having in science journalism, which is what my profession is. And it's a reflection of what's happening in our society that people think they can make these kind of comments and get away with it. And I think the response from The Royal Society has been very, very weak.
The Royal Society has been around since 1660. And in that time there has been no woman to lead that organization. And I think this is just endemic of the kind of problems that they have. There are loads of women scientists out there who could now be president of this organization. And you know, the progress seems to be very, very slow. And unacceptably slow. And I think women like myself who watch this happening for many, many years are beginning to think, how much longer? And actually, there's - it's enough now, enough.
UCL posted a statement that Tim Hunt had resigned his honorary professorial post: "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". The title of honorary professor, the statement said, "does not carry a salary, and does not ordinarily involve teaching or research at UCL, with activities undertaken in consultation with the relevant Department".
First of 13 pieces (including a debate with 6 pieces) in The New York Times The Associated Press: Nobel laureate stirs storm with comments on 'girls' in labs (No comment section)
The first of 5 pieces in The Washington Post, Rachel Feltman: The non-apology of the year award goes to Nobel scientist who thinks women just cry all the time (507 comments)
One of this pair is the first of 6 pieces in Time.com, Alissa Greenberg: A Nobel scientist just made a breathtakingly sexist speech at international conference (No comment section)
Eliana Dockterman in Time.com: Nobel laureate walks back sexist comments after backlash (No comment section)
The first of 44 pieces in The Times/Sunday Times, Tom Whipple: Don't let women scientists work with men, says Nobel winner (61 comments)
Sir Tim chose to deliver a speech on the benefit of single-sex research laboratories in front of a convention of senior women scientists and female science journalists.
The first of 29 pieces in The Observer/Guardian, Rebecca Ratcliffe (and agencies): Nobel scientist Tim Hunt: female scientists cause trouble for men in labs (677 comments, 128,667 shares) (Contacted Hunt for comment, without success.)
Jamie Grierson in The Guardian: Tim Hunt apologises for comments on his 'trouble' with female scientists (630 comments - closed for comments, 6,807 shares)
Uncredited, The Guardian: Tim Hunt sorry but stands by comments on women scientists - audio (No comment section) One of the BBC audiotapes transcribed above ("I did mean the part....")
Dean Burnett, column, The Guardian: Tim Hunt shows why old men should be banned from science (203 comments - comments closed, 2,859 shares)
Gaby Hinsliff, column, The Guardian: Why sack ageing sexists? Send them to rehab instead (747 comments - comments closed, 558 shares)
Sylvia McClain, column, The Guardian: Cry, cry, cry (for Tim Hunt and backwards Nobel laureates) (29 comments - comments closed, 1,100 shares)
Sophie Scott in The Guardian: Tim Hunt should treat female scientists with the respect that he enjoys (242 comments - comments closed, 1,444 shares)
Anne Perkins in The Guardian: Tim Hunt, where's the science in your prejudice against women? (822 comments - comments closed, 2,029 shares)
First of 11 pieces in London Evening Standard, Ramzy Alwakeel and Press Association: Nobel prize winner Sir Tim Hunt 'sorry' for saying female scientists cry in the lab... but wins support of Katie Hopkins (5 comments, 120 shares)
The first of 20 pieces in The Independent, Aftab Ali: Women scientists 'distract men, fall in love with them and cry when criticised', says Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt (51 comments, 2K shares)
Aftab Ali in The Independent: Nobel Prize winner, Tim Hunt, partly-apologises over sexist comments and says he was 'just being honest, actually' (1 comment, 69 shares)
Sharon Bell in The Independent: Why it's still difficult for women to reach the top in science (4 comments, 81 shares)
Dorothy Bishop in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt's sexist remarks: Nice guy or not, the damage has been done (0 comments)
I think we do need to make a proportionate response. Twitterstorms can be dreadful, rather like lynch mobs. Hunt has not committed any crime. However, I don’t think we should let this go by just as someone being indiscreet, blunt, or frivolous. The comments get at the heart of bias against women in science: the notion that we can’t be serious contenders because we are too emotional, and, even worse, we distract the men from their science by our sexual allure.
My suggestion is that the Royal Society should debar him from any committee that makes decisions about fellowships, prizes or policy. I have no doubt that, nice guy as everyone confirms he is, Hunt does his best not to be prejudiced, but his view of women makes him inappropriate in these roles.
Adam Lusher in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt's remarks: With lab rats like him, is it any wonder there's a shortage of women in science? (8 shares)
Rose Troup Buchanan in The Independent: Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt makes sexist remark, Katie Hopkins approves, internet despairs (5 comments, 517 shares)
The first of 5 pieces in Forbes, Abigail Tracy: Nobel laureate Tim Hunt under fire for sexist comments (0 comments, 3,795 views)
The first of 3 pieces in boing boing by Rob Beschizza: Sexist scientist "apologizes" for conference remarks, says he was being "honest" (96 comments)
The first of 11 pieces in Times Higher Education, Holly Else: Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt apologies over 'trouble with girls' remarks (1 comment)
(Uncredited) Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt calls himself a has-been (No comment section) Last couple of minutes of a video of part of Tim Hunt's morning lecture in Seoul, uploaded to YouTube by Natalia Demina (journalist attending the WCSJ):
I guess, at the end of my career - I haven't had a lab now since 2011 - so I feel that you are looking at a has-been scientist...
Sarah Vine for The Daily Mail: March of the feminist bullies! As a Nobel professor's hounded from his job for 'sexist' remarks, Sarah Vine says it's part of a deeply disturbing trend (452 comments, 1.4K shares)
Press Association in The Daily Mail: Scientist sorry over girls comment (No comment section, 8 shares)
Associated Press in The Daily Mail: Nobel laureate stirs storm with comments on 'girls' in labs (No comment section)
Neil Sears and Colin Fernandez in The Daily Mail: Nobel scientist is forced to resign after calling women in labs a distraction...but guess where he met his wife! (357 comments, 466 shares) Included tracking down Mary Collins' ex-husband:
It had emerged earlier that Sir Tim was speaking from personal experience when he suggested same-sex laboratories would be a good idea to stop colleagues falling in love.
For he met his wife, Professor Mary Collins, 56, while directing her biochemistry studies at Cambridge University. At the time she was dating a fellow student, Bret Collins, who she married in 1981.
The first of 14 pieces in Breitbart James Delingpole: Nobel laureate: Girls are trouble in the laboratory (411 comments)
Sky News aired a debate on the Tim Hunt situation (reporter on YouTube video not named), between Dr Emily Grossman and Breitbart contributor and Gamergate champion, Milo Yiannopoulos. There were over 1,100 comments here, along with a Twitter convergence on Grossman.
(Uncredited) Breitbart: Watch: Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos vs 'educator' on sexism in science debate (381 comments)
Francis Whittaker on Buzzfeed News: Nobel Prize winner resigns from second post after sexist remarks (53 comments)
The first of 2 pieces from the Gawker group, Dayna Evans on Gawker.com: Unemployed misogynist Nobel laureate still rich in nose hair (289 comments, 255 Facebook likes, 28,589 views)
And meanwhile, #DistractinglySexy was off and running: here's what appears to be the first #DistractinglySexy tweet.
Uncredited, BBC News: Sir Tim Hunt resigns from university role over girls comments (1,440 comments - commenting closed) Includes one of the audiotapes of Hunt speaking, tweets.
Uncredited, BBC News: Female scientists post 'distractingly sexy' photos (No comment section, listed under BBC Trending)
Dan Bilefsky in The New York Times: Women respond to Nobel laureate's 'trouble with girls' (1,191 comments)
Debate in The New York Times: Nobel-winning sexism in the lab (Introduction) (No comment section) Debaters:
- Wendy M. Williams and Stephen J. Ceci: Sexist image of male scientists is wrong (115 comments)
- Katherine W. Phillips: Gender and racial bias is systemic in the sciences (36 comments)
- Kyla McMullen: Not a sign of real progress (21 comments)
- Maria Klawe: Things have gotten, and are getting, a lot better for women in science (11 comments)
- Laura Sherbin: Female scientists feel the bias in their labs (19 comments)
- Mary Beth Ruskai: A few bad guys in the lab can cause women a lot of harm (19 comments)
Reuters, reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Louise Ireland, in The New York Times: British Nobel laureate quits job after 'trouble with girls' remark (No comment section)
The Associated Press in The New York Times: Nobel laureate resigns honorary UK post after sexist remarks (No comment section)
Lindsey Bever in The Washington Post: Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt resigns after commenting on the 'trouble with girls' (372 comments)
Alissa Greenberg, in Time.com: Embattled Nobel scientist Tim Hunt resigns after sexist remarks (No comment section)
Tom Whipple in The Times: Scientist quits after calling for single-sex laboratories (23 comments)
Deborah Ross in The Times: Deborah Ross: Put me in a white lab coat and I just go wild (27 comments)
Ben Quinn in The Guardian: Nobel laureate Tim Hunt resigns after 'trouble with girls' comments (3,334 comments - comments closed, 22,163 shares)
Claire Shaw in The Guardian: #Distractinglysexy Twitter campaign mocks Tim Hunt's sexist comments (166 comments - comments closed, 25,065 shares)
First of 17 pieces in The Telegraph, Sarah Knapton: Sexism row scientist Sir Tim Hunt quits over 'trouble with girls' speech (219 comments)
Telegraph Women in The Telegraph: #DistractinglySexy: Female scientists mock Sir Tim Hunt on Twitter (53 comments, 10K Facebook likes, 11K shares)
Shiza Ather in The Telegraph: 'Views like Sir Tim Hunt's should be a thing of the past' (229 comments, 261 Facebook likes, 344 shares)
Anna Davis in London Evening Standard: Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt resigns from UCL after comments about female scientists (3 comments, 18 shares)
Victoria Richards in The Independent: #DistractinglySexy: Female scientists take to Twitter to mock Sir Tim Hunt's sexist remarks (25 comments, 64K shares)
Adam Withnall in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt loses university job after comments on 'trouble with girls' in laboratories (21 comments, 434 shares)
Simon Kelner in The Independent: Tim Hunt resigns: A brilliant scientist is a bit out of touch. Who cares? (28 comments) Lede: "We all know he was politically incorrect, bordering on the bonkers. But where is our tolerance?"
Paul Jump and Holly Else in Times Higher Education: Sir Tim Hunt resigns from two posts (1 comment)
Unspecified reporters in Times Higher Education: #distractinglysexy: Twitter responds to Sir Tim Hunt (0 comments)
Julie Beck in boing boing: On sexism in science (7 comments)
Press Association in The Daily Mail: Scientist in 'girls' row quits UCL (No comment section)
Reuters in The Daily Mail: British Nobel laureate quits job after "trouble with girls" remark (No comment section)
Quinn's article from The Guardian is the first link shared in reddit's Mens Rights subreddit ("a place for those who wish to discuss men's rights and the ways said rights are infringed upon"): Hysterical witch hunt by feminist bullies caused Nobel winner Tim Hunt to resign from his job.
Milo Yiannopoulos in Breitbart: Why do feminists cook up stories about 'misogyny' when they lose debates? (794 comments)
Laura Silver in Buzzfeed News: This astrophysicist just delivered the perfect response to Tim Hunt's sexist comments (82 comments)
Sarah Karlan in Buzzfeed News: Women scientists are tweeting "sexy" photos of themselves at work to shut down sexism (202 comments - this is tagged "Top post 1,470,059 views")
Statement by the Academy of Medical Sciences: Media shines the spotlight on women in science (No comment section - 4 Facebook likes/shares [added on 7 September])
Anna Zecharia, BBC: Viewpoint: Everyone must fight sexism in science (No comment section)
Today Show, BBC: Female scientists 'too concerned about how they perceived' (No comment section)
Lindsey Bever in The Washington Post: Sexism and the Nobel prize scientist: A backlash to the backlash Covers comments on Facebook, BBC tape quote, and #DistractinglySexy (148 comments)
Olivia B. Waxman in Time.com: #DistractinglySexy trends in response to Nobel scientist's sexist remarks (No comment section)
David Sanderson in The Times: 'Distractingly sexy' women scientists make light work of sexism (0 comments)
Ian Sample, Rebecca Ratcliffe and Claire Shaw in The Guardian: The trouble with Tim Hunt's 'trouble with girls in science' comment (276 comments, 607 shares)
Boyd Tonkin in The Independent: Love, intuition and women. Science would wither without them (4 comments) Includes discussion of famous scientist couples who worked together.
Ottoline Leyser in Times Higher Education: Love in the lab? It's part of science (1 comment)
Rob Beschizza in boing boing: Useful warning sign for male scientists afraid of women falling in love, crying at them (14 comments) Graphic for a lab warning sign by Jen Golbeck.
Thomas Burrows for Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Check out my nice rack! Women scientists mock 'sexist' Nobel Prize winner with hilarious pictures showing just how #distractinglysexy they can be (455 comments, 2.4K shares)
Karla Adam in The Washington Post: 'Trouble with girls?' Female scientists mock Nobel laureate with #DistractinglySexy photos (130 comments)
Robin McKie in The Observer/Guardian: Shamed Nobel laureate Tim Hunt 'ruined by rush to judgment after stupid remarks' (No comment section, 14,581 shares) Includes additional content from interview reported in a parallel article ('I've been hunt out to dry'), noting that the European Research Council had sacked him from its science committee (he resigned from other posts). It also includes a section from an apology which it reports was issued the night before:
"I am extremely sorry for the remarks made during the recent "Women in science" lunch at the WCSJ in Seoul, Korea. I accept that my attempts at a self-deprecating joke were ill-judged and not in the least bit funny. I am mortified to have upset my hosts, which was the very last thing I intended. I also fully accept that the sentiments as interpreted have no place in modern science and deeply apologize to all those good friends who fear I have undermined their efforts to put these stereotypes behind us".
Robin McKie in The Observer/Guardian, interview with Hunt and Mary Collins: Tim Hunt: 'I've been hung out to dry. They haven't even bothered to ask for my side of affairs' (6,433 comments, 86,295 shares). Hunt and Collins said they felt either abandoned by various institutions: "In many cases this was done without him even being asked for his version of events, he says". Collins says that someone from UCL contacted her and pushed for his resignation. There is no mention of the conversation he had with Deborah Blum. (The story was reported on by The Korea Times on 15 June.)
What he said was wrong, he acknowledges, but the price he and his wife have to pay for his mistakes has been extreme and unfair...His brief remarks contained 39 words that have subsequently come to haunt him.
"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 you criticise them, they cry," he told delegates.
"I stood up and went mad," he 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. There was some polite applause and that was it, I thought. I thought everything was OK. No one accused me of being a sexist pig"....
The next morning, as he headed for Seoul airport, Hunt got an inkling of the storm that was gathering when BBC Radio 4's Today program texted requesting an interview. He recorded a clumsily worded phone message. "It wasn't an interview. It was 1am British time and I was just asked to record a message. It was a mistake to do that as well. It just sounded wrong".
Catherine Bennett, column in The Guardian: Sexist remarks are just the tip of an ingrained culture (845 comments - comments closed, 6,492 shares)
Zoe Williams, column in The Guardian: If we don't raise a voice about sexism it will never go away (661 comments - comments closed, 5,577 shares)
Janice Turner in The Times: Give the sexist dinosaurs of science a break (45 comments)
Agency, in The Telegraph: Sexism row scientist: 'I was hung out to dry', says Sir Tim Hunt
Sebastian Mann in London Evening Standard: Nobel prize winner Sir Tim Hunt claims he has been 'hung out to dry' over comments about women in labs (9 comments, 250 shares)
Press Association in The Daily Mail: Scientist 'hung out to dry' (No comment section)
Sanchez Manning The Mail on Sunday (The Daily Mail): Revealed: The shocking truth about the 'sexist' Nobel scientist - he does the chores at home, says his wife (144 comments, 94 shares) Not clear where the report of comments made in 2011 comes from, includes interviewing Hunt's first wife as well, and a short video of clips with no context called "Female scientists mock Sir Tim Hunt's comments on Twitter":
Her comments came at a debate on women in science in London in 2011. Speaking from the audience at the same event, Sir Tim made remarks very different from the ones that got him in hot water, saying: 'Scientists see scientists as scientists. I don't think it matters if they're boys or girls'.
Ironically given his more recent comments, Sir Tim met Prof Collins, now head of advanced therapies at the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, in the lab - while he was directing her studies at Cambridge.
Sir Tim's first wife, Missy Cusick, who describes herself as a strident feminist, has also defended him, saying: 'I won't say anything against him. He is a big, brilliant, sexy guy - some pretty good DNA. He is brilliant but says things because he can. He doesn't think first.
'Tim should have run through his speech with his wife before he delivered it. He was probably being ironic but it didn't come out that way'.
The Associated Press in The New York Times: Nobel Prize-winning scientist says he was forced to resign (No comment section)
Justin Worland in Time.com: Wife of embattled Nobel laureate calls sexist comments 'unbelievably stupid' (No comment section)
Eleanor Mills, Sian Griffiths and Jonathan Leake in The Times: Science friction: how women rebelled against the lab rats (4 comments) Lede: "Sir Tim Hunt was called a dinosaur for claiming that female colleagues fall in love and cry at work. But such sexism is not driving women away".
Dominic Lawson in The Times: Oh, we love eccentrics on campus - but only the right sort, Sir Tim (66 comments)
Boris Johnson in The Daily Telegraph: Male and female are different - hardly world-shattering news (1,204 comments)
Agency in The Telegraph: Sexism row scientist: 'I was hung out to dry', says Sir Tim Hunt (320 comments)
Doug Bolton in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt says he is 'finished' and has been 'hung out to dry' after making sexist remarks (11 comments, 147 shares)
Sam Tonkin for Mail Online (The Daily Mail): 'Tim started crying. Then I did. We just held each other': Nobel Prize winner and his wife reveal their despair after his 'sexist' remarks were ridiculed online... and even his ex-wife defends him (235 comments, 241 shares)
Michael Eisen on his blog, It's Not Junk: Sympathy for the devil? [Update: This was overlooked in the original and added on 6 June 2016. At that point, it showed 16.7 thousand shares - no comments were shown. The data are not included in the totals.]
UCL updated their statement, saying media and commentary "played no part in UCL's decision to accept his resignation" and they had not established "direct contact" with Hunt before his resignation.
Deborah Blum, Storify: Tim Hunt "jokes" about women scientists. Or not. (No comment section, 30,358 views) Includes photo of Blum and Hunt talking over breakfast, by Kathryn O'Hara. Incorporates tweets related to Hunt's talk and his reply to her question about whether he had been joking or serious:
Tim Hunt said that while he meant to be ironic, he did think it was hard to collaborate with women because they are too emotional.
First of 2 pieces in Nature, Editorial: Sexism has no place in science (40 comments) Includes:
Last week's incident at a meeting of science journalists in South Korea, at which the British Nobel prizewinner Tim Hunt expressed jaw-dropping and belting sentiments about women in the laboratory, is focusing minds, once again, on how to make the most of that half of the human population in research.
Hunt - who won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on cell division - said that his remarks were meant to be light-hearted...Some public and media analysis of the sorry story has now shifted to argument about whether the punishment fits the crime...Whether or not the reaction has been fair, his comments and attitudes have become shorthand for the dismaying extent to which sexism still pervades science, and serve as a prompt to discuss the problem.
Athene Donald on Athene Donald's Blog (Occam's Typewriter): What next after Tim Hunt? (#just1action4WIS) (223 comments)
Uncredited, BBC: Boris Johnson defends Sir Tim Hunt's 'sexist' remarks (No comment section)
Michael E. Miller in The Washington Post: Nobel laureate Tim Hunt says he was forced to resign: 'I have been hung out to dry by academic institutes' (143 comments)
Greg Hurst in The Times: I've been hung out to dry says sexism row scientist (23 comments)
Philippe Naughton in The Times: Chauvinist Nobel scientist should be reinstated, says Boris Johnson (41 comments)
Press Association source in The Guardian: Scientist Tim Hunt should be reinstated after 'girls' row, says Boris Johnson (1,342 comments - comments closed, 814 shares)
Michele Hanson in The Guardian: The trouble with jokes is that they often backfire, as I know all too well (227 comments - comments closed, 24 shares)
Londoner's Diary in London Evening Standard: Will Tim Hunt's nemesis at UCL now stand up? (0 comments, 24 shares)
John Dunne in London Evening Standard: Boris Johnson calls for Sir Tim Hunt to be reinstated at the Royal Society and UCL (8 comments, 32 shares)
Louis Doré in The Independent: Boris Johnson: 'Sexist' Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt should be reinstated to Royal Society and UCL (9 comments, 51 shares)
First of 2 at Scientific American, guest post by Cristine Russell: Why Tim Hunt's sexist comments were no "joke" (6 comments):
As a participant at the World Conference of Science Journalists last week in Seoul, I had a ringside seat for the running story of Nobel Prizewinner Sir Tim Hunt's dismissive and offensive offhand remarks about female scientists. Reducing them to romantic distractions in the workplace that wilt in the face of criticism, he stunned an international audience by even calling for "single-sex labs".
Connie St Louis, guest post at Scientific American: Furor over Tim Hunt must lead to systemic change (11 comments) Covers intentions and events, including:
Hunt's comments had shocked many people in the room, including journalists and others, and I discussed them with a couple of colleagues, Deborah Blum and Ivan Oransky, who I'd been sitting next to. Unbeknown to each other we had written down what we had heard Hunt say at the lunch. Our quotes were identical, which meant we could independently verify the story, but I was still hesitant to broadcast Hunt's remarks. Women are vulnerable to vicious trolling on Twitter, and black women doubly so. So it was enormously supportive to have two journalists of Blum and Oransky's stature behind me.
We decided that I should publish the story on Twitter since it had a British angle, and that Deborah and Ivan would authenticate my account. I didn't want to publish the story as a series of tweets so I decided to write a short news story with a comment at the end and post it as an image.
Matt Chorley for Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Women DO cry more than men, says Boris as he calls for 'sexist' Nobel scientist to be given his job back (659 comments, 259 shares)
Press Association in The Daily Mail: Johnson backs 'girls' row scientist (No comment section)
Virginia Hughes, Buzzfeed News: The mayor of London and these scientists are defending Tim Hunt and his sexist remarks (30 comments)
Milo Yiannopoulos in Breitbart: Here's why there ought to be a cap on women studying science and maths (819 comments) Argument is that because of the leaky pipeline in STEM fields, public funds should be preferentially invested in men.
KOFWST, the hosts of the 8 June lunch, published a press statement, including a request signed by KOFWST President Hee Young Paik, for an apology from Hunt within 24 hours for his remarks, and his apology to them (part of which includes words quoted in The Guardian above on 13 June). Their English translation is here: PDF. The full Korean version (with English translation is on the KOFWST website in their news archive. (Here's my explanation of how to find it if you don't read Korean.) The press release and apology to KOFWST was covered by The Dong-a Ilbo (Korea's largest newspaper, according to Wikipedia) on 17 June.
From that press release:
"As women scientists we were deeply shocked and saddened by these remarks, but we are comforted by the widespread angered response from international social and news media: we are not alone in seeing these comments as sexist and damaging to science...
On behalf of Korean female scientists, and all Koreans, we wish to express our great disappointment that these remarks were made at an event hosted by KOFWST. This unfortunate incident must not be portrayed as a private joke. We cannot accept sexist remarks that threaten to reverse the gains made towards equality for women scientists, and women in the wider society".
Deborah Blum in The Daily Beast: Sexist Scientist: I was being 'honest'. (164 comments)
Because Hunt and I were the morning speakers, they also asked both of us to stand up during the lunch and make a few remarks. Anyone who has done this knows that the operating principle is kindness. I talked about the ways that women make science smarter; Hunt began also by paying tribute to the capable female scientists that he knew.
Unfortunately, he decided that wasn’t enough. But “let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” he said.
If you are a working woman, the word “girl” tends to be a signal flare, a red light warning of problems ahead. He continued. “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,” he said. Next he made a case that science might work better if we separated researchers into single-sex laboratories. Of course, Hunt emphasized, he didn’t want to “stand in the way” of women...
As St. Louis recounted yesterday, she, Oransky, and I sat down, and compared our notes to make sure we had an accurate account. We wanted to call out the remarks but we didn’t want to be heavy-handed about it or to be rude to our hosts. Yes, journalists really think like this. So we fretted over it; we decided to keep it simple. Connie would tweet the event; Ivan and I would retweet her. And that’s what we did.
Our idea was just to get it on the record...
He [Hunt] would also tell The Guardian that he had been “hung out to dry.” He would insist that he had only been joking and that no one had asked him to explain his position. At which point, I jumped back in to counter those statements. Because, as I detailed here, I’d made a point of asking him for that very explanation.
Athene Donald in Time.com: Calling Tim Hunt sexist won't help women in science (No comment section)
Martha Kearney interview with Brian Cox, BBC iPlayer: Brian Cox: Sir Tim Hunt shouldn't have had to resign over "trouble with girls" comment (No comment section)
Leading article in The Times: Lost faculty (44 comments) Called for UCL to reinstate Hunt. Also commented on #DistractinglySexy.
It would not have been surprising, or terrible, if this joke had been simply ignored. Nor would it have been surprising, or terrible, if it had caused a moderate fuss. Late last week, in wry response, many female scientists across Britain posted photographs of themselves online in full-body biohazard lab coats, using the Twitter hashtag #distractinglysexy. This was witty and a proportionate response to the "joke". If Sir Tim was back in his lab, feeling humiliated, he would only have had himself to blame.
Sonia Rach and Oliver Moody in The Times: Friends in unlikely places leap to defense of 'sexist' professor (3 comments) This refers only to Richard Dawkins and Boris Johnson:
Mr Johnson wrote in The Daily Telegraph: “Sir Tim Hunt was doing what he has done all his life — pointing out a natural phenomenon.” He cited research by Ad Vingerhoets, a professor of social and behavioural science in Belgium, “which showed that women cry on average more than three times as often in a year as men”.
Professor Vingerhoets said that women were more likely to cry when they were criticised.
Press Association source in The Guardian: Brian Cox criticises 'disproportionate' reaction to Tim Hunt's comments (1,166 comments - closed for comments, 1,384 shares)
Rajeev Syal in The Guardian: Boris Johnson criticised over 'women crying' remarks (1,847 comments - closed for comments, 2,424 shares)
Van Badham, column in The Guardian: Tim Hunt shouldn't resign. He should lead the way against sexism in science (156 comments - closed for comments, 127 shares)
Tom Brooks-Pollock in The Independent: Boris Johnson 'could be breaching sex discrimination laws' for defending Sir Tim Hunt over sexism row (34 comments, 155 shares)
Gerri Peev in The Daily Mail: 'Sexist' Nobel winner should shut up, says Nicky Morgan: Education Secretary tells scientist 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' (302 comments, 36 shares)
She said Sir Tim’s comments that women were a distraction in the laboratory and cried more than men showed ‘how far we still have to go with men’, especially in the field of science.
She told the Fortune Most Powerful Women conference in London: 'Someone who starts off remarks with "I'm a chauvinist" should remember the old adage: 'If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all'.
Her comments were greeted with applause in the room which was filled with top women CEOs and politicians...
Janet D. Stemwedel, contributor in Forbes: Good scientists should publicly criticize Tim Hunt's claims (10 comments, 4,089 views)
Emily Willingham, contributor in Forbes: Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt thinks just like you do (8 comments, 4,846 views)
David Sanderson in The Times: Cox: Twitter mob hounded scientist (17 comments): reports on BBC interview.
Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, column in The Guardian: My #distractinglysexy hashtag is not to blame for Tim Hunt's resignation (949 comments - closed for comments, 299 shares)
Helen Nianias in The Independent: Brian Cox says Tim Hunt should not have been 'hounded' out of his job after 'sexist' remarks about female scientists (180 comments, 3K shares)
Colin Fernandez for The Daily Mail: Brian Cox attacks 'trial by social media' that forced Nobel scientist to quit following his comments about women in laboratories (170 comments, 67 shares)
Neil Sears and Vanessa Allen for The Daily Mail: Sack him? I'd just smack this 'sexist' professor on the bottom: Mary Beard says Nobel winner should get job back (125 comments, 58 shares) Also includes statements from an anonymous UCL Council member:
The source added a press release rushed out by UCL on Monday - which insisted Sir Tim resigned before he had been contacted by the university - had, unusually, been circulated through the council before being issued. The release said: 'Media and online commentary played no part in UCL's decision to accept his resignation. UCL sought on more than one occasion to make contact with Sir Tim to discuss the situation, but his resignation was received before direct contact was established'....
...within hours of flying back to London, offered his resignation from his honorary professorship at UCL. After it was accepted, he was similarly asked to resign from the European Research Council.
Gerald Warner in Breitbart: Feminists and PC cultists are now anti-science, as the Left embraces superstition (428 comments)
James Delingpole in Breitbart: Welcome to modern Britain where sexism is a greater crime than violent Jihad (246 comments)
Natalia Demina, a Russian journalist who attended the WCSJ lunch was interviewed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Russian language arm): Tim Hunt's mistake (17 comments, 927 Facebook likes/shares - not part of the UK/US media content analysis, although the organization is US-based: it has been added here as it's a report from one of the attendees.) Demina is reported as saying that although she and some others she talked to later thought Hunt's remarks were a harmless joke, others didn't think it was harmless, and the consensus was that it was an unfortunate joke/remark (and the consequences too severe). (From a translation, including the correction, by Lenny Teytelman on The Spectroscope blog. Demina notified this translation on Twitter: "unfortunate joke in a wrong time".)
Sarah Clatterbuck Soper, op-ed in The New York Times: What it's like as a 'girl' in the lab (406 comments) Perspective (with data) from a postdoctoral fellow in science's "medieval apprentice system".
Tom Whipple in The Times: IVF pioneer criticises university over treatment of 'sexist' scientist (9 comments)
Camilla Turner in The Telegraph: Female professors call for end to Sir Tim Hunt sexism row (73 comments, 101 Facebook likes, 306 shares)
Holly Else in Times Higher Education: Row over Nobel prizewinner's 'ill-judged' remarks (1 comment)
Tom Utley in The Daily Mail: I chuckled at my son's sexist joke. Does this mean I should be forced to quit like that poor scientist? (537 comments, 159 shares)
Tom Whipple and Oliver Moody in The Times: Dawkins attacks 'mob rule' that cost scientist his job (6 comments) This is based on the following letter by Dawkins to The Times, and includes criticism of UCL by Nassim Taleb and an anonymous UCL academic, and support for UCL's action from another UCL academic, David Colquhoun.
Richard Dawkins, letter to the Editor, The Times: Tim Hunt 'witch-hunt' (7 comments) Says he didn't "like" the joke, but criticized the response as excessive.
Press Association source in The Guardian: Tim Hunt the victim of self-righteous feeding frenzy, says Richard Dawkins (No comment section, 1,502 shares)
Unattributed in London Evening Standard: Richard Dawkins criticises 'baying witch-hunt' over Sir Tim Hunt after 'sexist remark' (2 comments, 8 shares)
Helen Nianias in The Independent: Richard Dawkins denounces 'feeding frenzy' surrounding Tim Hunt (27 comments, 171 shares)
Press Association source in The Daily Mail: Dawkins slams Hunt 'feeding frenzy' (No comment section or sharing data)
Colin Fernandez for The Daily Mail and Keiligh Baker for Mail Online: Sexism row professor was a victim of a 'baying witch-hunt by the thought police' says Prof Richard Dawkins as he leaps to Sir Tim Hunt's defense (451 comments, 196 shares)
On BBC's Question Time on Thursday, Labour's energy spokesman Caroline flint also criticised Sir Tim's comments.
'This is the tip of the iceberg', she said. 'We still have an approach that says certain professions are for men, and certain professions are for women, and it's not good enough'.
Leading article (editors) in The Times: Not so Nobel (32 comments) About half addressed (approvingly) to #DistractinglySexy ("The satirical tweets from women who clearly thrive in the lab are an appropriate response to them. Sacking a distinguished scientist for one ill-judged utterance is not."). About half addresses "a swarm of online thought police [who] called for his head".
Oliver Moody and Tom Whipple in The Times: Eight Nobel scientists condemn 'lynch mob' (230 comments) Reports that of those Nobel laureates contacted, 6 said demanding resignation from UCL had been "wrong", while 2 defended it; 2 others said the online/media reaction had been disproportionate; most responded the speech had been "inappropriate and 'stupid'".
Colin Blakemore in The Times: Getting rid of Tim Hunt reflects badly on academia today (18 comments)
Rosemary Bennett in The Times: The group-think mob that leaves careers in tatters (5 comments) Includes "47,358 tweets later his reputation lies in tatters" - the derivation of this number is not explained.
Camilla Turner in The Telegraph: Nobel prizewinners defend Sir Tim Hunt amid 'sexism' row (162 comments - comments closed, 1K Facebook likes, 1K shares, poll on whether he resigned with over 25,814 voters - 84% said no) Note: draws on story in The Times, does not mention the Nobel laureates who criticized Hunt.
Siobhan Fenton in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt sexism row: Female professors call for 'fingerpointing' to stop (59 comments, 74 shares)
Athene Donald, column in The Guardian: Enough talk. There are ways we can help women in science now (151 comments - comments closed, 464 shares)
Euan McClelland for Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Eight Nobel prize winners attack 'lynch mob' who forced sexism row professor Sir Tim Hunt out of his job (215 comments, 255 shares) Sir Andre Giem, Avram Hershko, Sir Anthony Leggett, Randy Schekman, Jack Szostak, Greg Towers were all listed as criticizing = 6:
However, 2014 shared Nobel prize winners for medicine, husband and wife Edvald and May-Britt Moser, from Norway, said Sir Tim's speech was in no way beneficial to women.
'Hunt's statements point to attitudes that contribute to the continuation of inequality between the genders in science', they were reported as saying.
Nick Hallett in Breitbart: Nobel scientists condemn feminist 'lynch mob' that ousted professor (238 comments)
Jonathan Leake in The Sunday Times: UCL may reinstate Nobel scientist (9 comments)
Elaine O'Flynn for Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Nobel-winning scientist who was forced to resign over 'sexist comments' could be reinstated after support from hundreds of female academics (158 comments, 48 shares)
A UCL source claimed that there was no 'official' advice to Sir Tim's wife that he should resign and that the conversation 'appears to have been misinterpreted'.
The change.org petition was posted on reddit's Men's Rights subreddit.
Tom Whipple in The Times: Women scientists defend 'sexist' Nobel winner (27 comments) This headline refers to the following letter.
Jörg Adamdzewski and 28 others (female and male), letter to the editor, The Times: Tim Hunt plaudits (8 comments) All the authors had been Hunt's former staff scientists, students, and/or postdoctoral fellows. They expressed shock at the attacks, and spoke of his generosity as a mentor and his "putting the good of scientific progress over his personal prestige".
Glenda Cooper in The Telegraph: The hysteria over Sir Tim Hunt's 'joke' stops open debate (304 comments, 422 Facebook likes, 517 shares)
Anna Davis in London Evening Standard: Reinstate 'sexist' Sir Tim Hunt 'because his resignation makes women become the victims' (0 comments, 145 shares)
First of 2 End Misogyny Online posts, Catalina Hernandez, examples and analysis of the online treatment of Grossman: Solidarity with Dr. Emily Grossman
Me (Hilda Bastian) on my blog Absolutely Maybe (PLOS Blogs): "Just" joking? Sexist talk in science (30 comments including my responses, 1,333 Facebook likes)
Alessia Errico in Nature: Judge by actions, not words (32 comments) Lede: "Sexist comments made by my former boss are not an indication that he is biased against women, argues Alessia Errico".
Annalee Newitz in Gawker's Gizmodo: Fuck the Internet shame spiral (893 comments, 1.7k Facebook likes, 141,960 views)
Connie St Louis in The Guardian: Stop defending Tim hunt (1,155 comments, 3,457 shares):
"Nobody was laughing. Hunt now claims he added the words 'now seriously' before going on to praise the role of women in science and in Korean society. 'The words "now seriously" make it very clear that I was making a joke, albeit a very bad one, but they are not mentioned in the first reports and I was deluged with hate mail', Hunt said. He did not say this, nor did he praise the role of women in science and in Korean society. I wish he had; things would have been so much better."
Lottie O'Connor in The Guardian: Thanks Tim Hunt, your comments are bringing more women into science (2 comments, 199 shares)
Tom Whipple and Bruno Waterfield in The Times: Leaked transcript shows 'sexist' scientist was joking (58 comments) Notes that staff "have been ordered not to discuss 'the Seoul issue'" or publish or release the minutes.
Rachel Bundy in London Evening Standard: Sir Tim Hunt praised female scientists after 'sexist' remark, report reveals (0 comments, 5 shares)
Lizzie Dearden in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt's claims that remarks on girls in science were 'not sexist' are backed by leaked EU report (36 comments, 3K shares)
Heather Saul in The Independent: Richard Dawkins demands apology from Sir Tim Hunt's critics amid claims leaked transcript shows 'sexist' comments were 'light-hearted banter' (28 comments, 6K shares)
Rosie Taylor in The Daily Mail: Does new evidence prove the 'sexist Prof' was just joking? Official says Sir Tim Hunt's comments were taken out of context (422 comments, 60 shares)
An unnamed EC official - believed to be one of two who accompanied Sir Tim, 72, as part of his work with the European Research Council - wrote that he had said 'now seriously' after making the 'joke' and had then gone on to praise women scientists...
Speaking to the Mail, an unrepentant Mrs St Louis insisted: 'He never said 'now seriously', because it would change the whole tenor of what he was saying. The people who were hosting us took offense, they were as stunned as we were'.
American science journalist Charles Seife was also at the lunch and backed the version of events report by Mrs St Louis. He wrote on Twitter: "I can state with equal authority to the [EC official] that there was no 'now seriously'".
Jim Norton and Alisha Rouse in The Daily Mail: Revealed: 'Sexist' Nobel winner went on to praise women. scientists in SAME SPEECH, continuing after criticised comments by saying 'Now seriously...' (234 comments, 1.8K shares)
Nick Hallett in Breitbart: Leaked transcript: 'Sexist scientist' was just joking (127 comments)
Tom Whipple in The Times: Hunt's 'chauvinist' speech praised as warm and funny (7 comments) More from the anonymous "EU official", including describing the first part of the speech as “meant to be light-hearted”, “although completely inappropriate”.
Colin Fernandez in The Daily Mail: Lecturer who revealed Sir Tim Hunt's 'sexist' comments says she has no regrets about costing the Nobel Prize winner his job (1,220 comments, 230 shares)
Asked yesterday if she regretted Sir Tim losing his job, the lecturer in science journalism replied: 'I've no regrets about breaking a journalistic story. This is about journalism. Secondly it's about women in science. My intention was not for him to lose anything. But he didn't lose anything. He resigned'.
When asked whether he should get his job back, she told a meeting of the Association of British Science Writers in London: 'What an interesting question..to me it's a moot point...the point is we need to move the focus off him'.
Liam Deacon on Breitbart.com: Meet the social justice warriors who allegedly misquoted Sir Tim Hunt. (229 comments)
Michael Arthur, UCL Provost, UCL website: Provost's view: Women in Science (No comment section)
The trigger for this was remarks about the place of women in science made by Sir Tim Hunt. I don’t intend to repeat or re-analyse who said what, where or when, and thereby provide more fuel for media speculation. I will simply restate that when on the 10th June Sir Tim sent in his resignation from his honorary position with UCL, as Provost I sanctioned acceptance of that resignation in good faith on the basis that it was his personal choice as the honourable thing to do.
First let me say that I do regret that my acceptance of that resignation, and our announcement of it, has led to so much personal difficulty for Sir Tim and also for Professor Mary Collins, who is a highly respected and valued senior member of staff at UCL. I met with Mary last week and also spoke to Sir Tim by phone. Some regrets were expressed in both directions...
There have been many calls for me to reverse my decision to accept Sir Tim Hunt’s resignation from his honorary post at UCL, but there have also been very significant representations to me not to do so, including, but not only, from women in science. Our view is that reversing that decision would send entirely the wrong signal and I have reason to believe that Sir Tim would also not want that to happen.
An honorary appointment is meant to bring honour both to the person and to the University. Sir Tim has apologised for his remarks, and in no way do they diminish his reputation as a scientist. However, they do contradict the basic values of UCL – even if meant to be taken lightly – and because of that I believe we were right to accept his resignation. Our commitment to gender equality and our support for women in science was and is the ultimate concern.
Pallab Ghosh, in BBC News: UCL says Tim Hunt will not be back after 'sexist' comments (No comment section)
Colin Blakemore in The Times: Sex equality could be the real victim of the Tim Hunt affair (9 comments) Lede: "Gender prejudice runs shockingly deep in science departments". Argued that Hunt's reputation "might be partly salvaged" but "the real disaster is that gender equality could be the next victim".
Oliver Moody in The Times: More Nobel laureates back 'sexist' scientist (1 comment) Two Nobel prize winners were Serge Haroche and Wolfgang Kitterle (who "said Sir Tim had been the victim of an overreaction although his remarks displayed 'bad judgement'").
Anna Davis in London Evening Standard: UCL governing body is 'divided' over reinstating 'sexist' scientist Sir Tim Hunt (9 comments, 53 shares)
The 20 members of the UCL Council, which oversees the management and conduct of the affairs of the university, will meet in a fortnight to discuss how the case has been handled.
Some members of the Council are reportedly unhappy that Sir Tim resigned from his honorary position and want him reinstated.
But the Evening Standard can reveal at least two members who will be present at the meeting are backing UCL, which accepted Sir Tim's resignation to send "a clear signal that equality and diversity are truly valued at UCL".
Guy Adams in The Daily Mail: A very flawed accuser: Investigation into the academic who hounded a Nobel Prize winning scientists out of his job reveals troubling questions about her testimony (1,035 comments, 11K shares) This is the source of the probe into St Louis' CV and includes some responses by St Louis to emails requesting information.
Sarah Harris in The Daily Mail: University won't take back 'sexist' scientist: More Nobel winners back Sir Tim Hunt but ex-boss say gender equality comes first (447 comments, 53 shares) Two additional Nobel laureates were Serge Haroche and Wolfgang Ketterle (which actually makes the original 8 against, not 2 more).
Nicola Woolcock in The Times: UCL: regrettable but right for 'sexist' scientist to go (72 comments) Includes comments from St Louis, and from the UCL Provost reporting that he met with Mary Collins and spoke to Hunt on the phone: "Some regrets were expressed in both directions".
Louise Mensch in The Sunday Sun: Why let Hunt fauxminists triumph over the feminists? (No access, not counted in total)
Statements from the City University of London and Connie St Louis: City University London and Connie St Louis
A spokesperson for City University London said:
"We have spoken to Connie and are satisfied and are satisfied that her academic qualifications are correct. We will be working with her to update her profile page to include more recent publications and professional activities'.
Connie St Louis, a Senior Lecturer in Journalism at City University London, said:
..."I reject the accusation that I have 'hounded' Sir Tim... I consider that by reporting controversial comments by Sir Tim I was simply fulfilling my role as a science journalist"...
Uta Frith on The Royal Society blog, In Verba: Phoenix not dinosaur (76 comments)
Graeme Paton in The Times: Guests 'clapped at scientist's joke about women in labs' (5 comments) Includes reporting Natalia Demina's comments from Twitter.
Colin Fernandez in The Daily Mail: Lecturer who first accused 'sexist' Nobel Prize professor keeps her job despite the Mail revealing her dubious claims about her career (but has been told to 'update' her CV) (73 comments, 244 shares)
Yiannopoulos in Breitbart: Is the media silent on Tim Hunt accuser Connie St Louis's lies because of her 'black privilege'? (649 comments)
William Bigelow in Breitbart: British Nobel laureate crucified for sexism by woman with little credibility (101 comments)
Sallie Robins on website of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW): Statement from ABSW Board regarding Board Member Connie St Louis
The Board of the ABSW gives its full support to former President and current Board member Connie Louis, Director of the MA in Science Journalism at City University London.
Connie St Louis has been the subject of online abuse and of attempts to discredit her professionally, simply for pursuing a story that she thought correctly was interesting and important....
Journalists need to be free to carry out their jobs without fear of personal attack.
Uncredited, BBC: Dimbleby resigns from UCL fellowship over Hunt row (No comment section)
Tom Whipple in The Times: Jonathan Dimbleby resigns UCL fellowship over Tim Hunt row (178 comments)
Editorial, The Guardian: The Guardian view on the Tim Hunt affair: an explosive combination of science, sexism and social media (644 comments, 207 shares) Lede: "Cyberstorms are just another form of bullying, and the best answer is a measured response".
James Meikle in The Guardian: Dimbleby resigns from UCL in protest at 'disgraceful' treatment of Sir Tim Hunt (1,667 comments - comments closed, 3,758 shares)
Cathy Newman in The Telegraph: Dimbleby resigns: You wouldn't defend racism. So stop backing sexist scientist Tim Hunt (1,352 comments, 264 Facebook likes, 326 shares) Argues that Hunt's resignation is no laughing matter - "But neither is the fact that so many important people have so few qualms about shrugging off a sexist joke".
Allison Pearson in The Telegraph: Sir Tim's speech was a joke. Reinstate him (52 comments) Concludes with a pejorative reference, with the term "dreadlocked" to describe "professors of journalism studies".
Sir John Gurdon (Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 2012), Letter to the Editor, The Times: Sir Tim Hunt's grace (13 comments) Argued that Hunt had likely been aiming to amuse, but "hit the wrong audience on the wrong day".
Catalina Hernandez in End Misogyny Online: Solidarity with Connie St. Louis
Bel Mooney in Daily Mail: BEL MOONEY: does my alma mater have one rule for hate preachers and another for scientists who make daft jokes? (No comment section, 439 shares)
Tom Whipple and Erica Bush in The Times: UCL fellows criticise Sir Tim's 'mistreatment' (20 comments)
Anna David, London Evening Standard: Brian Cox: Stop attacks on 'sexist scientist' Sir Tim Hunt and encourage girls instead (4 comments, 326 shares)
Liam Deacon in Breitbart: Lost legacies and furious resignations - UCL's 'mistreatment' of Sir Tim Hunt backfires (149 comments)
First of 8 pieces on Louise Mensch's blog Unfashionista: The Royal Society's 'Diversity Committee' pre-judged #TimHunt. Now UCL should give him due process (125 comments, 784 Facebook likes/shares - see update notes below, comments not updated)
Howard Jacobson in The Independent: A university which is a hotbed of offence-taking isn't a university but an ideological prison camp and indoctrination centre (36 comments) Lede: "The freedom to think freely is more important than the right of women to enjoy equal respect to men."
(Uncredited) Breitbart: Connie St Louis' CV might make for challenging job interview (83 comments)
4 July: (Date not clear)
First of 2 pieces in The Sun, News (anon): 'Sexist' Sir Tim WAS joking, photo shows (No comment section or indicator of use)
Sian Griffiths and Jonathan Leake in The Times: Hunt's sacking may claim academic scalp (9 comments) Quotes an unnamed source "close to the affair" who argued if there was no attempt to reinstate Hunt, donors and scientists would be upset - and if he were reinstated, students would be.
Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times: Ugly, Callous, Lazy: UCL halfwits have destroyed a great man over a joke (142 comments)
James Delingpole in Breitbart: With professors like this it's no wonder science journalism is so fair, balanced and accurate (365 comments)
Louise Mensch re-post of Stephen Ballentyne with comment in Unfashionista: "Reinstate Tim Hunt" - Email to Professor Michael Arthur (deleted after a short time online - repost of this from Stephen Ballentyne's blog and here as it appears on Internet Archive) This open letter by Ballentyne refers to his petition to reinstate Hunt, and there is some analysis of the comments there on Dorothy Bishop's blog.
Louise Mensch re-post of Ben Champion with comment in Unfashionista: An open letter to the UCL Council (deleted after a short time online - posting of letter by Ben Champion: here as it appears on Internet Archive)
Jack Malvern in The Times: Sir Tim's exit 'shows UCL has no sense of fun' (1 comment)
Ayanna Monteverdi posted a segment of an interview with Ivan Oransky, where he describes his recollection of the lunch: Wow... Did that just happen? (No comment section) Primarily Oransky's account of reactions to Hunt's remarks - some were silent, some laughter. On the criticism of reporting the incident (my transcription):
We said let's compare notes on what we heard. We didn't take notes. It wasn't that kind of a luncheon where we were reporting on it. We compared notes very quickly and we all agreed on what was said...
But one thing that's important is that there's been this kind of "Oh this was a witch hunt and it was a terrible thing to do to someone". It was a public event so I don't really buy that argument.
Uncredited, in The Daily Beast: Sexist Nobel winner won't get job back (No comment section)
Tom Whipple in The Times: Hunt joins forces with UCL in bid to end science sexism row (4 comments)
Sarah Knapton in The Telegraph: Sir Tim Hunt will not be reinstated as UCL Professor after 'trouble with girls' speech (242 comments)
Cathy Young in Observer: Lab rats: How the misogyny police and sloppy journalists smeared a top scientist (0 comments, 1.7K Facebook likes/shares)
Louise Mensch on her blog, Unfashionista: The Tim Hunt reporting was false. Royal Society, please give him due process (105 comments, 2K Facebook likes/shares - see update notes - comments not updated) Reports on tweets, differing accounts and versions of events, personal communications.
Tom Whipple in The Times: More come forward to back Hunt as UCL council meets (1 comment) Refers to the results of a mailout to some honorary fellows of UCL, 20 of whom said they disapproved of UCL's treatment of him, while others said the comments were unacceptable regardless of context. Reports that the council was believed to be split on the issue.
UCL statement after Council meeting: UCL Council and Sir Tim Hunt (No comment section) Unanimous support for acceptance of resignation. Statement in full:
UCL Council, the university’s governing body, has today reviewed all of the circumstances of the resignation of Sir Tim Hunt as an Honorary Professor of the Faculty of Life Sciences on 10 June. Having seen the relevant correspondence, including the exchange of emails between Sir Tim and UCL, the Council is satisfied that his resignation was accepted in good faith. Council unanimously supports the decision taken by UCL’s executive to accept the resignation.
The subsequent extent of media interest was unprecedented, and Council recognises the distress caused to Sir Tim and Professor Mary Collins. Council acknowledges that all parties agree that reinstatement would be inappropriate.
Council recognises that there are lessons to be learned around the communication process. Consequently it has requested that the executive undertake a review of its communications strategy.
Hannah Devlin in The Guardian: Tim Hunt sexism dispute: UCL ruling council backs decision to let him go (152 comments - comments closed, 355 shares)
Rozina Sabur in The Telegraph: Top female academics say Sir Tim's comments has done scientists a good service (3 comments, 5 Facebook likes, 29 shares) Quoted Dr Pettorelli, who "praised the positive reaction" from some scientific institutions: "I don't want the next generation here to wonder if it's acceptable or not - they should just not have to hear it".
Unspecified reporters in Times Higher Education: The week in higher education (0 comments) Nasal hair cartoon, "Finally, we have got to the issue at the heart of the Tim Hunt saga: nasal hair...."
Colin Fernandez in Daily Mail: Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt who was forced out of job after sexism row will not be reinstated, UCL council rules (264 comments, 58 shares)
Louise Mensch, column in The Sun: Will the Beeb come clean on betrayal of Nobel winner? (No comment section) Lede: "Broadcaster put words in Tim's mouth, says Louise Mensch". Note: Dan Waddell and Paula Higgins report on the full response from BBC on Medium.
Janet D. Stemwedel in Forbes: What if Tim Hunt had done it differently (14 comments, 4,897 views)
Elizabeth Gibney and Richard Van Norden in Nature: Universities highlight gender-equality policies after sexism row (3 comments)
Leading article (editors), The Times: Intellect betrayed (52 comments) Argues that Hunt was "ill-advised to try to make a joke out of the idea of single-sex labs", and was "more provocative than he knew". However that "does not justify for one moment his treatment over the past month". Goes on to argue that UCL should "swallow its pride and reinstate Sir Tim".
Tom Whipple in The Times: UCL refuses to give Hunt his post back (43 comments)
Sarah Knapton in The Telegraph: Sir Tim Hunt deserved to lose his job over 'chauvinist' comments, Nobel Prize winner says (526 comments, 1K Facebook likes, 2K shares): Reported that Paul Nurse, joint Nobel Prize-winner with Hunt, "deserved to lose his position" and spoke of the discussion becoming "totally polarised with extreme views on both sides. I have had hundreds of letters...It doesn't seem to be going away". He said "Tim is a lovely man" but that some of what he said "cannot be supported". (In a letter the following day, he wrote that his belief was that Hunt should not have been asked to resign from UCL.)
Holly Else in Times Higher Education: UCL will not reinstate Sir Tim Hunt (0 comments)
Robin de Peyer in London Evening Standard: Sir Tim Hunt's former partner joins criticism of Nobel prize winner in sexism row (7 comments, 68 shares)
Hugo Rifkind in The Times: Don't grow old, or you might be timhunted too (123 comments)
Sarah Knapton in The Telegraph: Sir Paul Nurse: I got hate mail after Sir Tim Hunt resignation (128 comments, 13 Facebook likes, 130 shares)
Tom Whipple in The Times: Leave Sir Tim alone, says fellow laureate (0 comments) Report of Paul Nurse's comments on BBC.
Paul Nurse, letter to the editor, The Telegraph: Women in science (No comment section) There is no criticism of previous coverage:
Sir Tim Hunt remains a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in my view should not have been removed from his position as Honorary Professor at UCL...
Regardless of whether his comments on women in science were in jest or not, how they were perceived could put some women off pursuing a career in science and that is not acceptable. Sir Tim has apologised for what he said, and when I spoke to him he felt that he should resign from an awards committee he was on at the Royal Society.
Chris Elliott in The Guardian: Responding to criticism of our coverage of the Tim Hunt affair (515 comments, 300 shares) Includes addressing specific issues it had needed to correct, and why St Louis' piece went online without usual editing (accidental) and edited while live without noting the corrections. It concluded:
Where the Guardian had it right is in the heart of the leader, in the penultimate paragraph: "All the same, the surge of support shows how widely misunderstood the pressing need for feminist activism still is, particularly in science... This is not a joking matter (although the #distractinglysexy hashtag did a good job of showing there could be a funny side)."
Stephanie Linning in Mail Online (The Daily Mail): Sexism row scientist was 'stupid' and his comments were 'unacceptable', claims partner who shared the Nobel prize with him (29 comments, 2 shares)
David Kroll, contributor in Forbes: The art historian-turned-civil-enginer who should've overshadowed Tim Hunt (12 comments, 1,820 views) On 23 July Kroll added an apology to Tim Hunt and Mary Collins for having criticised Tim Hunt's remarks, changing the headline to: The art historian-turned-civil-engineer who was promoted by Tim Hunt (increasing to 16 comments and 10,411 views).
Me (Hilda Bastian) on my blog Absolutely Maybe (PLOS Blogs): The outrage factor - then and now (1 comment plus reply, 32 Facebook likes)
Louise Mensch re-post of Ben Champion with comment in Unfashionista: Non-placet - an open letter to the UCL council regarding my resignation (deleted after a short time online - posting of letter by Ben Champion and here as it appears on Internet Archive)
14 July: None.
Lucy Bannerman and Oliver Moody in The Times: College in sexism row is dining out at men-only club (46 comments) This relates to a dinner held after this clinical prize lecture at the Garrick: includes comments by the event organizer, Professor Tony Segal and that a spokesperson for UCL said that the university had not received complaints.
Victoria Richards in The Independent: Sir Tim Hunt sexism row: College that refused to reinstate scientists for 'sexist' comments holds dinners at 'men-only' Garrick club (4 comments, 308 shares)
Amanda Williams in Mail Online (The Daily Mail): University that refused to reinstate Sir Tim Hunt over his sexist remarks holds working dinners at men's only club The Garrick (64 comments, 81 shares)
Dorothy Bishop in Times Higher Education (print headline - Comic fig leaf): The trouble with jokes about girls (16 comments) Bishop's response to the comments (Nobel laureate's 'joke' cannot be laughed off - 23 July)
17 July: None.
Oliver Moody in The Times: Recording 'shows Sir Tim was joking' (149 comments) Tape provided by Natalia Demina, with a short comment from Hunt and some laughter. My transcription:
“Congratulations everybody, because I hope, I hope, I hope - I really hope - there is nothing holding you back, especially not monsters like me.”
Louise Mensch and Natalia Demina in The Times: The tape that shows Sir Tim was wronged (13 comments) A commentary to accompany the taped part of Hunt's remarks (tape not included)
Robert Mendick in The Telegraph: Author drops UCL from £1m will over Sir Tim Hunt's treatment (511 comments, 680 Facebook likes, 1K shares) Note: Although Jeremy Hornsby, the author concerned, has a million pound legacy, "He will now write UCL out of his will leaving it about £100,000 worse off".
Oliver Moody in The Times: Sir Tim talk banned over feminist threat (72 comments) Note, there is no actual threat described in this article. It was described as "a cautious measure".
Note: This alleged threat morphed into this in a general Breitbart piece on freedom of speech by Gerald Warner on 22 July:
In other words Academe is suppressing freedom of expression because of violent intimidation by feminist and PC activists.
Louise Mensch on her blog, Unfashionista: Will the New York Times correct its misreporting on Tim Hunt? (11 comments, 73 Facebook likes/shares - see update notes, number of comments not updated)
Sam Leith, "Let's hear it for Louise Mensch" in London Evening Standard: Sam Leith: It could have been you or me making a Nazi salute if we had lived then (1 comment, 8 shares) (Print version included in tweet)
Louise Mensch on her blog, Unfashionista: The silence of the shams: #WCSJ2015 falsely reported Sir Tim Hunt (54 comments, 784 Facebook likes/share - see update notes, number of comments not updated)
22 July: None.
Javier Espinoza in The Telegraph: Sexism in the workplace is used by men to bond, says academic (10 comments, 4 Facebook likes, 92 shares) (Coverage of more general piece by Paula Nicolson in Times Higher Education: Sexism: pervasive in the academy?)
Bill Burrows in The Telegraph: Should we forgive old men for making sexist remarks? (351 comments)
Paula Nicolson in Times Higher Education (print headline - A toxic undertow): Sexism: pervasive in the academy? (0 comments)
Laurie Taylor in Times Higher Education: New Joke Protocol (0 comments) Lede: "Laurie Taylor presents the official weekly newsletter of the university of Poppleton. Finem respice!"
Under the new Poppleton Joke Protocol, all academics who intend to make a joke about a colleague will be required to clear the joke in advance with the joke committee (formerly the University Development Committee).
Unspecified reporters in Times Higher Education: The week in higher education (0 comments)
The furore over University College London's treatment of Sir Tim Hunt rumbles on almost two months after his now infamous "trouble with girls" speech...
With no let-up on the stream of Sir Tim stories, UCL will no doubt be wondering when its almost daily kicking in the national press will end.
24 July: None.
25 July: None.
Louise Mensch in The Sunday Sun: Feminism failing, sisters (No access, not counted in total)
Pieces that appeared after this post was published (not counted in total)
(Added at 7 am on 28 July, Washington DC)
Louise Mensch, on her blog Unfashionista: "A misogynist pig" - How the BBC smeared Sir Tim Hunt (4 comments, 221 Facebook likes/shares - see update notes, number of comments not updated) This includes, and expands on, the issue discussed in Mensch's piece in The Sun on 9 July.
Tom Whipple in The Times: Lecturer who exposed Tim Hunt updates her 'misleading' online CV (1 comment): Notes that Louise Mensch had tweeted that a journalism award for a BBC radio series she presented in 2002 was given to the producer rather than St Louis, a BBC spokesperson had said the award was in the producer's name but as St Louis was involved "it would not seem unreasonable for her to put it on her CV".
Martin Daubney in The Telegraph: Do men really use sexism to bond with each other at work? (7 comments) A response to the piece included above by Paula Nicolson in Times Higher Education on 23 July, and covered by Javier Espinoza in The Telegraph on the same day.
Athene Donald on her blog at Occam's Typewriter: The importance of evidence, the need for #Just1Action4WIS (Commenting closed on 3 August: 163 comments, 101 Facebook likes/shares)
29 July: None.
30 July: None.
31 July: None.
1 August: None.
2 August: None.
3 August: Louise Mensch, on her blog Unfashionista: Connie St. Louis falsely accuses colleague, prize winner of ethics breach (30 comments, 18 Facebook likes/shares)
4 August: Cathy Newman in The Telegraph: Scientists of Britain rejoice! This woman is fighting George Osborne for you (11 comments, 45 shares, 6 Facebook likes) Mostly about other issues, with a section about Tim Hunt
On 24 June while eating lunch I browsed the comments on this article about Tim Hunt in The Times. Even though the comments are moderated (it can take considerable time for a comment to appear), it included the most racist comment I had seen about Connie St Louis. It took about 45 minutes for my request for its removal to appear, and the offensive comment was removed simultaneously.
[Update] Soon after posting, I corrected some minor grammatical errors, removed the word "substantial" from point in opinions, and added a sentence on the uncontested quote that I'd missed: 'There was some debate about whether he said "my trouble with girls" or "the trouble with girls".' There's nothing like hitting the "publish" button to make you see errors!
[Updates on 27 July]: Twitter link as source for the time the BBC radio program aired added (thanks @ticobas). And error in copy of Paul Nurse's letter to The Telegraph corrected (thanks, Paul Matthews and Derek Sorensen!). As Thomas Basbøll pointed out the first sentence addressing the question "Were his remarks a joke - and if so, what kind of joke?" could be interpreted about something other than its status as a joke, I added the specification joke another time.
[Updates on 28 July]: I added 2 pieces that met the criteria, but were published after this post in a new section. (In this update, I also deleted the word "untested" from my reference to commenting being enabled on this website: it works!) Also added a note about the time difference between UK and US for Daily Mail/Mail Online on 9 June, making it the wee hours of the 10th in London (thanks, Debbie Kennett).
[Updates on 28 July]: Supplementary File 1 and Supplementary File 2 added. Two grammatical errors corrected and the duplicate entry of these updates was deleted. Modified my note about the reporting of "8 Nobel scientists" issue on 20 June to make it more specific. Added statements issued by the ERC and the Crick on 10 June (omission pointed out by Debbie Kennett - thanks!) Expanded the disclosures section (prompted by comment by Debbie Kennett that I should disclose any relationship I had to Deborah Blum - note: further updated on 9 September, see below). Added 2 new pieces that met the criteria. And finally, added the earliest #DistractinglySexy tweet I could find (10 June).
[Updates on 29 July]: Reduced lengthy quotes, added a missing link. In doing so, identified what is either an incorrect link or a double-count due to having been updated after midnight: to be resolved. (19/20 July)
NOTE: There are multiple broken links in the following updates related to Louise Mensch, as she deleted tweets. I posted an archive Supplement here on 6 June 2016, which fills in most of those gaps.
[Updates on 30 July]: Added explanation on data collection on Facebook and shares after question from Louise Mensch (thanks!). Mensch also asked me why I did not include more data on her posts, and provided data on page views of those of her posts with the highest traffic, and that was added. This included a post I had missed (I could find no archive list on her blog and asked for a full list). Cathy Young noted an opinion piece of hers in Observer/Opinion which I had missed: this was added. The duplicate Times entry was removed. Numbers and details updated (detailed in Supplementary File 1).
Added a link to the website of KOFWST in Korea, with linked explanation of how to find their 16 June Tim Hunt press release. Also added a link to media coverage in Korea for background: 1 on 15 June picking up on the Hunt/Collins interview via the Guardian, and 1 in Korea's largest newspaper on 17 June covering the KOFWST press release.
Added a section to 16 June of an interview with Natalia Demina with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (as background, not for the media analysis). (Note on 2 August: requested feedback on the translation earlier in the comments and on Twitter - no reply.)
Small wording changes (removal of KOFWST's name in connection with the apology quoted in The Guardian and adding the "apparently" phrasing in relation to this at the apology entry) were made in response to this criticism by Louise Mensch via Twitter.
[Updates on 31 July]: The omission of the data on 5 Unfashionista blog posts was criticized by Louise Mensch on 29 July. I had difficulty navigating the blog, and it transpired I had missed one post (added on 30 July above) and Facebook data that is displayed at end of the posts, before the comments begin. Several iterations were needed to reconcile these data issues. The 5 posts now have Facebook data gathered as for other pieces in this analysis, all as at morning of 31 July (Washington DC time) (but without updating the number of comments, as that would be a re-analysis done after the time this ceased to be a matter of major media interest. Facebook data and views for these posts are however now more discrepant in date of data extraction than the rest of the sample).
In attempting to identify, via Google, the 5th blog post to which Mensch referred but did not link, I identified what appears to be 6th post, on 5 July, entitled, according to its URL and a tweet by Mensch on 5 July "Reinstate Tim Hunt" - Email to Professor Michael Arthur, which had several retweets but now delivers a 404 message. I made multiple requests on Twitter to clarify the status of this 6th URL (the 2nd of the 6), first here and most recently here in response to this tweet. In clarifying that there are 5 posts only, Mensch reports in this tweet that they are sequential. The 5 July 404 is between the 2 "Royal Society" posts. There seems to be an impasse here. As I can only identify very limited circulation of this post by tweets, I do not believe it would change the conclusions in my analysis. It is therefore currently excluded from the analysis, pending the supply of further information.
Update to this update: After posting of this information, responses received by Mensch indicated that 2 posts relating to Tim Hunt were removed from Unfashionista. (Thanks, Louise Mensch.) Both included content re-posted from others. For completeness, I will update when the 7th is clear: as with confirmation that these were posts related to Tim Hunt, they do therefore meet the inclusion criteria for this analysis.
Status update: After posting this information, responses received by Mensch indicated that 3 posts relating to Tim Hunt were removed from Unfashionista, with very low traffic. (Thanks, Louise Mensch.) Mensch was unable to provide links and reported they were blogs of correspondence with UCL by Ben Champion, not written by her: Champion reported only 2 of these posts (the ones I had not found) were his correspondence (on Twitter). Champion provided links. (Thanks, Ben Champion!)
[Updates on 1 August] Added Standard piece from 20 July notified by Louise Mensch. (Thanks, Louise Mensch.) Repost notices to Mensch's Unfashionista identified from Ben Champion's blog on 5 and 13 July added. Presumed source of repost to Unfashionista on 5 July added - content from Stephen Ballentyne - with additional contextual links relevant for this post.
[Updates on 2 August] Louise Mensch expressed concern that including the data on all the pieces posted on Unfashionista constituted bias. To be responsive to this concern, I checked Internet archive for completeness: all 3 were available, including Mensch's introductory words and the re-blogs. In response to Twitter comment by Louise Mensch that I should declare my Wikipedia involvement, I added this to the disclosures. (Thanks, Louise Mensch!) In response to Twitter comment by Louise Mensch that my contribution to the Wikipedia page on Tim Hunt was "massively biased", I included detail here. Further adjusted wording of the 3 pieces deleted from Unfashionista following additional complaints on Twitter from Louise Mensch. In response to additional tweets, I have attempted to be both transparent and responsive in finding a line between this concern and this one, but this seems insoluble. Finally, I standardized some inconsistent prepositions for the pieces on blogs. [Note: on 4 August, I removed data from Twitter (e.g. this, this, this) and replaced numbers with words on 31 July update as the best way to maintain transparency and consistency, and given that the latest request was to not include the numbers, but to take them into account in considering my opinions about what influenced community opinion.]
[Update on 3 August] "Inappropriate remark" changed to "unfortunate remark" in statement attributed to Natalie Demina in an interview in Russian on 17 June (original source had been corrected). Notified by Natalie Demina on Twitter. (Thanks, Natalie Demina.) Also removed the note that I had roughly confirmed the translation with Google now that it appears to have been confirmed (an original request for confirmation here on Twitter, and here a request for confirmation of the change). Subsequent update: remarked changed to joke/remark, after reading a translation tweeted by Demina to Louise Mensch. Noted that Athene Donald has closed comments on her 28 July blog post - I included data on comments and Facebook.
[Update on 4 August] Statement on 19K uses of #TimHunt changed to reflect that was the quantity at the time of writing, and this link removed. As of 4 August, that link shows 12K, not 19K.
[Update on 28 August] Added Kiran Garimella's catch of 250K tweets with the #TimHunt or #DistractinglySexy hashtag in August. Modified my statement about reddit's impact to indicate more uncertainty about it. Added a link to a new post of mine at PLOS Blogs about what I learned about Twitter aggression, The Value of 3 Degrees of Separation on Twitter.
[Update on 7 September] Added information on post, The "Un-Calm" After the Tim Hunt Storm. In the light of Garimella's data, changed #DistractinglySexy from "a very high proportion" of the attention to "considerable". Reviewed Debbie Kennett's collection of links to identify anything eligible for this post that I'd missed: found and added 2 items for 12 June - a link to the Academy of Medical Science's statement and a BBC program (numbers updated).
[Update on 9 September] In response to continued representations about perceived interests, I added further detail to the disclosures, including specifying the lack of financial interest (absence of statement on this was because there was nothing relevant to disclose), and to further the specify the minimal levels of my interactions with Deborah Blum prior to these events.
[Update on 17 October] I finished following this topic when I wrote this "aftermath" post. On 17 October, a tweet from someone I follow drew my attention to a flurry of tweets by Louise Mensch including various allegations about my honesty and this post. In the course of this, it became clear that many of the links in these updates were either broken or no longer linking to the source material as the tweets had been deleted. Mensch reported that she now auto-deletes all tweets, and refers to an archiving service should someone wish to locate them:
My tweets in response remain online within the links. Screenshots of all data in the tweets and the tweets to which I was replying, together with the now-deleted tweeted allegations that followed this episode, are too voluminous to include here, but are held on file here should they be unavailable online.
Among the allegations on 17 October are that this post is prejudiced and unbalanced because it did not originally include a description of a conflict of interest on my side in relation to Deborah Blum. As there was no actual relationship beyond following each other on Twitter prior to my becoming involved in this issue, there was, in my opinion, no conflict to disclose.
The Twitter exchange above is part of a renewal of an allegation by Mensch that I was part of some collusion at the time this piece was published by Blum in mid-June. The evidence provided to support this conjecture was that I tweeted a link to a post on the Korean website of the KOFWST soon after the Blum post was published. It was alleged that I was also therefore colluding with the KOFWST without disclosure as well. Part of this appears to be related, too, to my reference to the English portion of the text that was published: this was apparently interpreted as my having some undisclosed knowledge of communications to which I was not party. In fact, my reference only relates to the fact that the correspondence published between Tim Hunt and KOFWST was in English, and I assumed that meant they had corresponded in English. I have no direct knowledge of what language Tim Hunt and KOFWST communicate with each other in. I was not in contact Blum or KOFWST: when I read Blum's post, I wanted the source material and Googled KOFWST, where it was clearly displayed with a "New" flag.
I include this in detail, because it is emblematic of the process of casting suspicions of cloak-and-dagger activity with sinister intent on the most banal actions. At that point, the sum total of my interactions with Blum had been some minor Twitter activity and me congratulating her in person at a conference she organized once. In July, before I wrote this post, I had communicated with Blum, as I did with others (and in this post), in July about racist comments that were proliferating on the internet in relation to this issue.
Additionally, it is alleged that readers of this post should have been notified that I had posted comments on blogs etc that were critical of Tim Hunt's actions in the early days of this controversy. I believe that this post makes it clear that I had been involved and actively seeking to influence opinion - and reflecting on this was the reason that I embarked on this exercise. All my comments and activities are non-anonymous: and as I wrote in this post, had I known then what I knew after this exercise, my contribution to the debate would have differed. For example, in this comment at Athene Donald's blog, I argued that the response had not been disproportionate. As I point out in this post, I had totally underestimated the savagery that was occurring outside of what I was reading. For the record, as well as the blog post I just mentioned, I commented: at The Times as discussed in this post here at my website, to lodge a complaint about an extremely racist comment at The Times (included in this post). I may have commented about the savagery of people's responses on another Times article and perhaps at The Daily Mail. I made the Wikipedia edits described here (one of which would have counted on the "pro" side and one on the "anti" side at that time in June), commented on a Nature post, at Dorothy Bishop's blog, and on a post by Uta Frith at The Royal Society's blog. (If there are any omissions, it's a function of memory lapse, not sinister intent.)
[Update on 19 October] Expanded detail added to Supplementary File 2 was noted.
[Update on 28 October] On 17 October I gave an example of a comment I regretted making. Here's another - which apparently occurred in more than one tweet. I called a particular article in The Daily Mail "character assassination", and its author asked me to apologize for that. Considering this explanation of "character assassination", I don't think that article alone meets that level, although I think that's been going on. I do think it was ad hominem (refer here) and I don't think people's personal PR is necessarily relevant to other behavior. But this is another example of what I meant when I said I wanted to reflect on my behavior. I was very upset at that time about The Daily Mail's pursuit of Hunt's family and their unmoderated comment sections - and I remain very critical of that, and the ad hominem attack. But I aim to be more careful with emotive language like "character assassination" in the heat of controversies.
[Update on 29/30 October, 1 November] Broken link to a reference to the European Commission in the intro notified - replaced with a link to the ERC's website description of the relationship. A broken link to Gawker on 10 June fixed - and another to The Telegraph on 11 June. Update on concern expressed by Peter Tindemans added: for all, thanks again to @ticobas!
[Update on 6 June 2016] Added the link to the archive Supplement related to Louise Mensch's deleted tweets. Added a blog post by Michael Eisen from 14 June which had been overlooked in the original posting. Added a link to a new update post for the 1-year mark. On 29/30 May, I had also updated Supplement File 2 for this post.
[Update 23 August 2016] Corrected omission of "Science" in the conference on 8 June entry. Thank you, WistyEL. WistyEL also suggested that Hunt's participation in a conference should be added: but it included no media report or major blog that met the criteria for inclusion.