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What, Indeed, Was He Thinking?

July 6, 2015 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 93, Issue 27

I’m appalled and embarrassed upon hearing what Tim Hunt, who is one of the few to be awarded the Nobel Prize, had to say about women in the lab (C&EN, June 15, page 3).

As the father of two daughters, I have dedicated time and effort as a parent and scientist to educate them about the wonders of science. Before they could read, they were able to recite the planets and later on could recite a number of elements. As a parent, my job is to educate and let them experience as much as possible so they can make their own decisions on a career path, whether or not it’s in science.

Hunt did the right thing to atone for what he said. But whether he himself is a victim or simply didn’t know what he was saying, it doesn’t matter. In this day and age, whether we like it or not, we are essentially monitored 24/7 by social media and have to be ever more vigilant on how we act and what we say.

Were it not for two highly educated and experienced women who mentored me on my journey as an analytical chemist, I would not be where I am today in my profession. I’m giving a shout of thanks to Dorothy Phillips and Phyllis R. Brown.

John V. Amari
Tewksbury, Mass.


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