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Hunt and the Hunted

Dan Waddell photo
Dan WaddellLondon
Hunt and the Hunted
An in-depth account of how the Tim Hunt saga provoked a furious online backlash against his critics.
This is your chance to help fund an understanding of what created a perfect storm for the worlds of science, journalism, feminism and politics.


On June 8th it will be one year since the British Nobel Prize winner, Sir Tim Hunt, made his infamous ‘trouble with girls in the lab’ comments in Seoul to honour female scientists in South Korea. It became one of the biggest stories of 2015. By the end of the year even European Commission officials were referring to it as Huntgate.

Hunt’s impromptu toast resulted in death threats, faeces in the post and racism; online abuse of numerous scientists and journalists; a schism within UK academia that continues to this day; and it cast a harsh spotlight on the serious issues of sexism within science that reverberated around the world.

Since then, Sir Tim has become an unlikely poster boy for the cultural libertarian ‘GamerGate’ community, while Connie St Louis - the black feminist who reported his comments - has been held up for ridicule as embodying the politically correct ‘social justice warrior’ left.

Byline journalist Dan Waddell has spent the past year researching the story in detail, peeling away the many layers to reveal the truth and background to what happened.

He has found evidence of how the ‘establishment’, including senior scientists, officials and academics, leading scientific organisations and the European Research Council, closed ranks as a ferocious backlash sought to exonerate Hunt and shoot the messenger.

When the former Conservative Member of Parliament, Louise Mensch, took up Professor Hunt’s cause, this backlash escalated into a social media storm. Aggressive online abuse silenced many critics and forced a number of interested parties, many of them women, to retreat, chilling free speech. The facts were forgotten and the story became all about the online culture war.

It is a story that escalated from casual sexism to a dangerous mix of racism, misogyny and political and cultural warfare.

On June 8th, Waddell will reveal the collusion that went on behind the scenes to exonerate a Nobel scientist. Many people still remain unaware of the true facts – as errors by British newspapers continue to be repeated around the world - or appreciate the damage that has been done within the international scientific community. It is a story that escalated from casual sexism to a dangerous mix of racism, misogyny and political and cultural warfare.

This is your chance to help fund an understanding of what created a perfect storm for the worlds of science, journalism, feminism and politics.

#Tim Hunt, #women in science, #Louise Mensch, #gamergate, #sexism, #online abuse, #connie st louis

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