Sir Tim Hunt sexism row: Female professors call for 'fingerpointing' to stop

'It is time for all of us to stop cowering and shouting, buck-passing and fingerpointing and start listening and talking'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Two leading female professors at Cambridge University have called for an end to 'fingerpointing' over seemingly sexist comments made by scientist Tim Hunt.

The 72 year old Nobel Prize winner was forced to resign from his position at University College London last week after making comments which were widely criticised for sexism. He argued that “girls” are a liability in science labs.

Speaking at a conference in South Korea, the biochemist said: “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and –when you criticise them- they cry.”

In a joint letter to The Times, Ottoline Leyser, director of the Cambridge University Sainsbury Laboratory, and Dame Athene Donale, Master of Churchill College have supported the scientist and called for an end to “fingerpointing” about the debacle.

They write: “Fear and anger are natural responses that we all feel when challenged both individually and institutionally.

“They have an important role to play in bringing issues to the fore, but they get in the way of finding solutions to complex problems.

“It is time for all of us to stop cowering and shouting, buck-passing and fingerpointing and start listening and talking.”

Comments