On sexism in science


Julie Beck reports on the resignation of Tim Hunt, the Nobel-winning biochemist whose sexist conference remarks sparked an international outcry.

It would be easy to think these people are outliers.

In so thinking, “we miss the bigger problem and tend to want to scapegoat,” says Heather Metcalf, the director of research and analysis for the Association for Women in Science. Instances like this are part of a bigger systemic problem—“really entrenched biases against women in the sciences that have shifted over time but are still very present,” she says.

In other words, it would be a mistake to listen to the foghorn of Hunt’s comments and ignore the boat it’s signaling.