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Sexism

Mind the gap in Hunt responses

In my view, you use your publishing might irresponsibly in presenting Alessia Errico's article 'Judge by actions, not words' as the sole female riposte to Nobel laureate Tim Hunt's misogynistic remarks (Nature 522, 393; 2015).

Besides running contrary to the groundswell of reaction from many scientists (see, for example, go.nature.com/gdvzvb), Errico's statement of support for Hunt's remarks was predictable. Hunt was her former supervisor: she depended on him for scholarship and career advancement.

Whether or not Hunt was joking and whether or not he apologized satisfactorily are beside the point. Neither is it likely that such outdated and seemingly entrenched attitudes can be dispelled by practical attempts to counter gender inequality in science (see Nature 522, 255; 2015 and D. Hilton Nature 523, 7; 2015).

Conspicuous by its absence in Nature so far is this: a woman commenting on the harm done by the flippant public denigration of women in science by a prominent scientist who is male.

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Correspondence to Rebecca Williams Jackson.

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Jackson, R. Mind the gap in Hunt responses. Nature 523, 290 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/523290b

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