Grigory Ryzhakov – Russian Writer

Tim Hunt’s Non-Problem: Scientists Cry and Here’s Why!


adapted from Masur (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lately, as usual, I’ve been enjoying summer while tackling the intimate life of molecules in the lab, making new music, but I’ll take a break and briefly post on science and love, i.e. hashtag TimHunt-gate.

Last week, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt had caused an uproar on social media with his comments on why women should stay away from the lab:

Let me tell you about 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.”

Some of his statements are clearly not supported by scientific evidence: men do cry more at work. My problem with his statement is that I agree that these things happen, I just don’t think it is wrong to fall in love and cry in the lab. On the contrary.

I have so many friends who met each other while working in the lab and now they are happy families with kids.  Imao, falling in love can only make a good impact on a person’s science work, of course, provided it doesn’t leave that person wrecked in the end.

And as for tears. What’s wrong with crying? It’s a stupid macho mode of behavior to bottle all your frustrations inside or suddenly release them in anger. In my books, a crybaby is better than an explosive jerk. Crying harms nobody, apart from embarrassment it causes, but why should we feel embarrassed for being emotional? Besides, crying has many health benefits. e.g. it helps us to deal with stress via a release of adrenocorticotropic hormone. More on this – here.

So, thank you, Tim Hunt, for bringing this up. Next time my experiment defies my assumptions — I’ll cry in a matching defiance too. Think about all the sympathy chocolate I’m gonna get from my colleagues! That’s the main bonus. 🙂


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