Women And Education, Part 2. Comment of the Day: “Ethics Heroes: The Sweet Briar Alumnae And Their Supporters”
I confess that I initially took little notice of the Tim Hunt episode because I thought it turned out right, and that few would disagree. I think the ethics issues are obvious and unambiguous. Apparently not, as some commentators argue that he was dismissed for “political correctness.”
Prof. Hunt, who is 72, and this is a major factor in his downfall, is a renowned biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001 for his work on cell division. He was also knighted in 2006. He was addressing an audience at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea this month, and for some reason was inspired to say 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.”
This was, as the professor would have known if he were n0t 72 and unaccustomed to the ways of social media, immediately tweeted around the world, making him the target of scientists, educators, students, feminists and almost everyone else but Rush Limbaugh. Horrified and still clueless, Hunt went on the radio to “clarify,” saying that his remarks were “intended as a light-hearted, ironic comment.” This is known as the futile “It’s just a joke!” excuse here at Ethics Alarms, but knights don’t read Ethics Alarms. Continue reading
I held back on Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day because I wanted the get his context posted here first, which I did to some extent in Women and Education, Part 1. HT began with this, in response to my salute to the Sweet Briar alumnae for winning their battle to foil the school’s board and keep the all-women’s college open:
To this, Amy Tabb, a Sweet Briar alum, replied..
Now here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day, in response to Amy, in response to Humble Talent, on the post Ethics Heroes: Sweet Briar Alumnae and their Supporters. I’ll have my own post on the topic of “gender segregated” higher education in Women and Eduction, Part 3.