Respected biochemist Tim Hunt, 72, has just resigned as honorary professor at University College London following his comments about the "trouble" with "girls" in the lab. At the recent World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, Hunt (who won the Nobel Peace prize, along with Leland H. Hartwell and Sir Paul Nurse, "for their discoveries of key regulators of the cell cycle") said this:

Old photo of Tim Hunt via Image 1.Old photo of Tim Hunt via

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.

After much outrage from the scientific community and media-consuming humanity in general, Hunt apologized (too little, too late, too bullshit):

It was a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists... I'm really, really sorry I caused any offense, that's awful. I certainly didn't mean that. I just meant to be honest, actually... I did mean the part about having trouble with girls. 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.

Like ass-grabbing that toots in the typing pool, this earnest brand of sexism is now generally frowned upon, replaced with more subtle, institutionalized discrimination.

The whole thing was quite effecient. Still mid-fallout, the statement on his resignation was released by the University College London earlier today.

Mary Collins a professor of immunology at University College London is currently married to this man.

What we're all waiting to know is who broke Tim Hunt's heart? Who was that scientist whose "disruptive" being-a-female-ness gave him "trouble"?

Cover image: Wikipedia