It’s official: men are too emotional for a career in science

scientist. in various poses

I know it’s not politically correct to say it, but it has become unavoidable:

Men are too emotional for a career in science.

Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt has made it official with his blithering about “trouble with girls” in science labs:

A Nobel Prize-winning British scientist apologized Wednesday for saying the ‘trouble with girls’ working in laboratories is that it leads to romantic entanglements and harms science.

But Tim Hunt stood by his assertion that mixed-gender labs are ‘disruptive.’

Hunt, 72, made the comments at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, according to audience members.

Connie St Louis of London’s City University tweeted that Hunt said when women work alongside men in labs, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”

From Ms. St. Louis’ Twitter feed:

Tim Hunt tweet

… At … lunch today sponsored by powerful role model Korean female scientists and engineers. Utterly ruing by sexist speaker Tim Hunt FRS [Fellow of the Royal Society] who … says he has a reputation as a male chauvinist. He continued “let me tell you about my trouble with girls.” 3 things happen when they are in the lab; you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry” … “I’m in favour of single-sex labs” BUT he “doesn’t want to stand in the way of women.” Oh yeah?

See what I mean about men being too emotional? First he acknowledges that he cannot maintain professional relationships in the lab (“you fall in love with them), then he displays complete irrationality and delusion (“they fall in love with you”), and finally, he demonstrates his inability to handle anyone’s emotions, let alone his own.

Riiiiight! Who wouldn’t immediately fall in love with this stunning example of male beauty?

Tim Hunt

We all know that men are surprisingly irrational creatures. Consider Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor in #shirtgate. Instead of dressing soberly for an interview as a woman scientist would, he could not help dressing provocatively and inappropriately in a Hawaiian shirt adorned with scantily clad busty women.


Sure, he ultimately issued a tearful apology (demonstrating that when you criticize male scientists, they cry), but it’s difficult to imagine a woman scientist committing such an egregious faux pas in the first place.

Hunt is already apologizing, too, if by “apologizing” you mean digging himself in deeper:

Hunt, a biochemist who was joint recipient of the 2001 Nobel for physiology or medicine, said he was just trying to be humorous. He told BBC radio on Wednesday that he was “really, really sorry I caused any offense.”

Then he added: “I did mean the part about having trouble with girls. … 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.”

Riiiight! He didn’t mean to cause any offense with his blatant sexism. Can’t anybody take a joke anymore?

I do agree with Professor Hunt on one point though, single sex labs. I don’t think we need to go as far as to ban men from science labs, but as Hunt himself has demonstrated, we should not allow them to have leadership roles since they are too emotional to handle leadership. Going forward we should put women in charge of research labs. It won’t be forever, of course, just until men can demonstrate that they have enough control over their emotions to handle working with women in a professional way, not as objects for their romantic attentions.

We need a Twitter hashtag for these types of incidents. When Matt Taylor wore his provocative shirt, they called it #shirtgate.

I suggest that we call this #shitgate since many male scientists, utterly incapable of controlling their emotions, can’t help spewing shit when confronted with women in science.