If you pay attention to any social media at all, you probably have heard about Dr. Tim Hunt. He is a Nobel Prize winning scientist who made a careless remark on how women distract men in research laboratories and should be excluded out of STEM. Dr. Hunt is definitely a smart scientist (Nobel Price!), and probably has had his way for decades. But I guess this is exactly what made him ignorant – when you are the absolute authority in your circle and no one disagrees with you, it is hard to keep yourself in check.
I will not be surprised that he had said the same thing in a smaller social setting before. But this time he made a mistake saying it out loud in a scientific conference, and some gal in the audience tweeted his speech. In his 70s, Dr. Hunt probably did not realize how powerful social media was to the repetition of a person, any person. A massive anger swept across the globe like a tsunami, wiped his fame and the respect to him clean within hours. Now he is spilled out of his University, which I bet is never happened to a Nobel Winner before. Well. I have to say that the gender biases in STEM is still very strong. And more importantly – not just from the male researchers. But these #distractinglysexy tweets made me full of hope that we are heading to the right direction!