Female scientists post 'distractingly sexy' photos

  • 11 June 2015

Female scientists have been sharing "distractingly sexy" photos of themselves after a feminist website encouraged them to respond to comments by a Nobel laureate.

Nobel Prize winner Tim Hunt was roundly criticised when he detailed his thoughts about the "trouble with girls" at a conference of science journalists. "Three things happen when they are in the lab," he said, "you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry."

He said his comments were meant to be "light-hearted, ironic comment", but whatever the intention, it went over like a heavy metallic dirigible in a field with some widely acknowledged gender issues. Hunt has now resigned from his position at University College London.

On Thursday the hashtag #DistractinglySexy began taking off, with more than 10,000 tweets in a matter of hours. The trend was prompted by a shout-out by the feminist online magazine Vagenda which urged female scientists to share pictures of themselves at work. WARNING: the photos below are not graphic in the slightest.

Image copyright @StephEvz43
Image caption Lab coats were a common theme ...
Image copyright @dspitzzz
Image caption ... with many making the point that science gear is about as far from distracting as you can get
Image copyright @FliesinLakes
Image caption Some men joined in as well
Image copyright @AmyRemeikis
Image caption Another common theme was notable female scientists, such as Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Prize winner
Image copyright @scientist_me
Image caption And of course there were plenty of wry jokes

In most Twitter storms over sexism there's usually a debate of sorts but in this case nearly all of the most popular and repeated tweets mentioning Hunt are critical of his comments.

Blog by Mike Wendling

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