Here we go again. Eight Nobel prize winners have come out to defend Tim Hunt.
They warned of a chilling effect on academics’ freedom to speak their minds after Sir Tim was forced to resign his honorary post at University College London amid pressure from social media users.
Sir Andre Geim, of the University of Manchester who shared the Nobel prize for physics in 2010 said that Sir Tim had been “crucified” by ideological fanatics , and castigated UCL for “ousting” him.
Oh, no! There might be a “chilling effect” on the ability of coddled, privileged Nobel prize winners to say stupid, demeaning things about half the population of the planet! What will we do without the ability of Tim Hunt to freely accuse women of being emotional hysterics, or without James Watson’s proud ability to call all black people mentally retarded?
I am so sorry to hear that Tim Hunt was nailed up on a cross until he suffocated. How tragic. How sad that “ideological fanatics” used hyperbole to cause him such mortal suffering! And by “ideological fanatics,” of course, we mean anyone who complained about women being stereotyped. That is a right that every man possesses, and Nobel prize winning men possess to an extreme degree!
Others described the response on social media as a “global firestorm”. Nice. Mocking Nobelists is as serious and devastating as setting human beings on fire. They are very delicate and thin-skinned, don’t you know, so that #DistractinglySexy hashtag was exactly the same as dousing Tim Hunt with napalm.
Tragically, this response also has the effect of making millions of ideological fanatics around the world realize that winning a Nobel prize does not grant god-like wisdom, which means they’re almost certainly going to wither and die at a revelation that diminishes a bit of the respect they’ve been getting.