Boris Johnson: 'Sexist' Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt should be reinstated to Royal Society and UCL

'There is a gender difference, and it should not be an offence to say that'

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The Independent Online

Sir Tim Hunt, the Nobel laureate who resigned from two scientific organisations after making divisive comments about women, has been defended by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Mr Johnson, writing in his column for The Telegraph, has called for Sir Tim Hunt to be reinstated following his comments about women.

Sir Tim Hunt said: "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls," he said. "Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry."

 

After his comments provoked outrage, Sir Tim resigned from the Royal Society and University College London.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, the Conservative party politician said: "He has won the Nobel prize and just about every other award; and last week, at the age of 72, he was giving a light-hearted, off-the-cuff speech to some scientific journalists in Seoul.

Mr Johnson said the remarks had "prompted such global outrage " that Sir Tim had lost honorary positions both at University College London and the Royal Society."

Mr Johnson, who in 2009 dismissed his £250,000-a-year column as 'chickenfeed', wrote: "Whether you say it is a function of biology or social expectation, it is a fact that – on the whole – men and women express emotion differently.

"There is, in other words, a gender difference, and it should not be an offence to say that."

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