Unjustified Backlash Against Biochemist Tim Hunt?

June 18, 2015

Today’s link features an Op-Ed piece at Time.com from Athene Donald, a physics professor at Cambridge University. She asks if the career-ending response to Tim Hunt’s recent, sexist comments are helpful for women in the sciences.

There is no doubt that Dr. Hunt made disparaging comments about women scientists, but professor Donald asks if a few thoughtless sentences are enough to overturn Hunt’s lifetime of equitable treatment and encouragement of women in the sciences. She also suggests that merely labeling folks as “sexists” is not an effective means for addressing gender biases. We need more than labels; we need alternatives.

“It’s too late to save Hunt’s reputation. But it’s not too late to use the energy gained in this debate to renew efforts to root out the ills that make life difficult for women in science. We can ensure that families and schools do not deter young girls who love science and math from pursuing careers in those fields.”

Read Athene Donald’s brief Op-Ed about the Tim Hunt episode here.

What should be the appropriate response to thoughtless, sexist comments?

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