Tim Hunt, British Nobel Prize-winning scientist, decided to resign from his post at University College London over a controversial comment he made about female scientists.
Hunt’s suggestion on Tuesday that female scientists could not take criticism without crying and that relationships between men and women in the laboratory disrupted work, caused offence and he apologised for the same.
Hunt who is 72 years old, shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of protein molecules that control the division of cells, holds other posts as well.
In South Korea he was reported saying “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.”
Speaking to BBC radio on Wednesday he said: “I’m really sorry that I said what I said. It was a very stupid thing to do.
“What was intended as a sort of light-hearted, ironic comment was apparently interpreted deadly seriously.
“It’s terribly important that you can criticise people’s ideas without criticising them and if they burst into tears it means that you tend to hold back from getting at the absolute truth.
“Anything that gets in the way of that diminishes, in my experience, the science.”