In case you missed it, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt, the British laureate, caused a firestorm earlier this week when he commented that female scientists are a distraction to their male counterparts.
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls,” he was reported as saying. “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.”
Not the savviest statement to make at the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, where Hunt was a featured speaker.
The 72-year-old later apologized, saying the comments were meant to be light-hearted, calling himself a “chauvinist pig,” and eventually resigning from his post at University College London. But the damage had been done.
Female scientists around the world rallied, creating a#distractinglysexy hashtag on Twitter to show us exactly what the term means and fight sexism with their acerbic wit.
The women photographed themselves in their extremely sexy work outfits. It’s no wonder male scientists are powerless to their charms:
They also confessed their laboratory transgressions:
And shared their tears:
One ecologist was so busy being sexy that she even distracted herself:
Steve Diggle, a microbiologist at the University of Nottingham, designed a helpful warning sign for scientists to post outside their labs, ground zero for distractingly sexy interactions, and all that crying.
The sign was retweeted over 1000 times, and many labs immediately put it into practice — thus saving scientists everywhere from “trouble with girls.”
Now, scientists everywhere can breathe a collective sigh of relief, and actually start working already.