Education & Family

Dimbleby resigns from UCL fellowship over Hunt row

picture of Jonathan Dimbleby
Image caption Jonathan Dimbleby resigns after UCL confirms Sir Tim Hunt will not get his position back

Jonathan Dimbleby has resigned from his honorary fellowship at University College London, in protest over its refusal to reinstate Prof Sir Tim Hunt.

The writer and broadcaster said: "There is a principle at stake here."

Sir Tim resigned from his honorary post at UCL after making comments about the "trouble with girls" in science.

UCL's president said there had been many calls to reinstate Sir Tim, but there were also many, including women in science, who opposed it.

In a statement earlier this week, Prof Michael Arthur said he "regretted" the "personal difficulty" Sir Tim had been through but his comments had struck such a "discordant note" that action had had to be taken.

Stupid thing

Speaking at a lunch during a science conference in South Korea, Sir Tim had said: "Let me tell you my trouble with girls. 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."

He later told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he "was really sorry that I said what I said".

"It was a very stupid thing to do in the presence of these journalists," he added.

Dimbleby told the Times newspaper: "It is a big thing to resign from an honorary fellowship, for the individual who does it."

"It may be a matter of no moment to anyone else, but I'm proud of that role.

"There are times, though, where you have to say, 'Sorry, there is a principle at stake here.'"

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