Tolerance and Tim Hunt 147


You can’t tolerate that which to you is inoffensive. Toleration necessarily implies putting up with people who hold views or exhibit behaviour which you do not like. The hounding of Professor Tim Hunt from his University position is an exhibition of extreme intolerance.

Brilliant scientists – which those who are able to judge say Professor Hunt is – are sometimes not the best socially integrated of people. His joke was offensive, and only very slightly amusing. He maintains views which are not those I hold, and he intends to continue to hold them – as he is entitled to do.

We are all entitled to show disapprobation of his opinions. We are not entitled to insist that he change them. And we are certainly not entitled to sanction him in his work for his opinions. The importance of his work is not pivotal to this argument – I would say the same for a waiter.

If he enforces active discrimination in the work environment that is a different question, but he does not appear to be accused of that and the facts or otherwise of that are not dependent on opinions he expresses.

Tim Hunt is a bit of a twit and a dinosaur. But some of those hounding him are a great deal more dangerous.


147 thoughts on “Tolerance and Tim Hunt

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  • fred

    Sheriff accuses Chief Constable Sir Stephen House of attempting to interfere with the judiciary.

    “Chief Constable House demanded a meeting with Scotland’s Sheriff Principal Brian Lockhart to voice his anger at comments made by Sheriff Robert H Dickson – who suggested a cover-up culture may exist within Scotland’s single Police Force.”

    “Police Scotland was created by the Scottish Government in early 2013 after local policing across Scotland was scrapped in favour of a more easily ‘controlled’ and now highly politicised policing service steered by PR driven headlines to assist Scottish Ministers increasingly dodgy claims regarding crime statistics.”

    http://scottishlaw.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/police-chief-sheriff-clash-over-cover.html

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Herbie:

    Watson and Crick aren’t the best example for your purposes above.

    What happened, Herbie? Did you accidentally hit the “Submit comment” before you’d explained (a) why “Watson and Crick aren’t the best example for your purposes above”, and (b) what would have been better, or was your remark entirely without rationale.

    It’s remarks like yours that makes one wonder if half the comments on this blog aren’t generated by robots.

  • Johnstone

    And whats more
    It is doubtful whether a species having BOTH an advanced technology and this strange way of looking at its world, through Cartesian bifocals, can endure

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Herbie:

    There’s some evidence that boys do better in mixed environments whilst girls do better in single sex environments.

    A feminist told me that.

    Could be cobblers.

    Pretty certainly is feminist bollocks, if feminists have bollocks — an interesting question.

    In the age of single-sex elite education, i.e., until about a generation ago, most bright male students in Britain did the double math A level exam, usually with physics.

    Today, “An increasing number of schools do not enter any candidates at all in physics or maths … In 2009, nearly 500 schools and colleges in England did not enter a single candidate in A-level physics, the least popular of the three core sciences.. ” (source: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2011/feb/15/a-level-overhaul-science-decline).

    Meantime, the qualifications of students entering the math program at Cambridge University had so declined that it was necessary, a few years ago, to add a year at the front end of the math program, which thus became a four-year degree. So much for the male-intellect enhancing influence of co-education.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Johnstone:

    ‘Brilliant scientists – which those who are able to judge say Professor Hunt is, are sometimes not the best socially integrated of people’

    OK so why is that?

    ..due … to a blind reverence towards the Cartesian model of knowledge.

    Anyone well socially integrated into a politically correct society is basically dumb, blind and stupid. That’s why brilliant scientists are not “best socially integrated.”

    Science and social taboos do not mix.

    But why, I wonder, do you consider it “strange” to view the world with realism, and why would realism be more self-destructive than, for example, the self-hating “anti-racism” of Europeans who drive the racial and cultural genocide of their own group by promoting mass immigration and multi-culturalism.

  • Phil

    Craig
    “I said in my post it was nothing to do with his eminence”

    You can say that but of course it did. For the very fact that the powerless, such as the man I wrote about, are mistreated to silence day in day out. He doesn’t register on the radar. Unlike this professor, who relatively looses nothing, but gets heard. Resulting in privileged people saying how bad they feel for privileged people. The slightest grievances of the privileged are trumpeted loud and wide by other privileged people all the time.

    No Ali was not famous but there was political mileage in it for you wasn’t there? It wasn’t a selfless act. And what did you achieve? Sweet fanny adam. Well not for Ali anyways. Which was screamingly predictable by those of us not wringing our hands.

    “I strongly suspect I have been putting more time and effort into trying to help him than you have.”

    Suspect? I clearly said I have done nothing. More, when you took the judgemental moral high ground I mocked your efforts for the ugly combination of ineviatable failure and, considering the political expediency, sheer cynicism.

    But you continue to claim your moral reward.

  • Phil

    So I’ve been working all day and now in a rush to eat before a meeting. My comments are rushed and less clear than I would have hoped. Maybe I’m talking shit. I’m on softer ground with this tthread but yield not one inch regarding Craig’s confused career building nationalist bullshit.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well, the thread remained sane and on-topic until 15h32 when school finished and RepublicOfEverythingUnderTheSun got back home.

    New thread please, you know it’ll annoy him.

    Anything!”
    _________________________

    HABBnoidea.

    I don’t recall posting a comment at 15.32pm.

    If you’re going to comment on another posters comment AGAIN (whats new) at least get the right time,there’s a good chap.

  • Clyfdebuilt

    Canspeccy says it for me

    “Anyone well socially integrated into a politically correct society is basically blind, dumb and stupid. That’s why brilliant scientists are not “best socially integrated”.
    I’m backing Prof Tim Hunt

  • Republicofscotland

    “Certainly used to be, though I’d say it has found utility amongst a much broader spectrum of elite opinion.”
    _________________

    Yes Herbie,you’re one of the few to notice the shift,it won’t be long until the political elite stop the masses from expressing,by using politically correct terminology.

    You won’t be able to say boo without it offending some group,AIPAC has been doing it for years.

    It also shows us just how out of touch with the world HABBinthoughtitthrough really is.

  • Phil

    RoS
    “The controversial surveillance technology is used by police agencies worldwide to target the communications of criminals.”

    It’s not just the cops. These systems are used to track shoppers in shopping centres for example which might explain why they were found everywhere. This is old news. You have to wonder why Sky are running a cop baiting story now.

  • Johnstone

    CanSpeccy

    I think you are confusing realism and science..

    Realism is accepting that there are 2 types of problems in this world… convergent and divergent.

    Convergent problems have one solution, whereas divergent do not. These ideas have been development in field known as post normal science.

    In this field of science many the aspects that are overlooked in normal science are taken into account such things as
    Oh yes. uncertainty, value loading, and a plurality of legitimate perspectives. These REALITIES are not ignored, excused nor avoided as in normal science. No they are included in the framing of concepts and taken into account in the application of theories in practice. PNS might, if we are lucky, wrestle the field of environmental science from normal scientists (ooops oxymoron) and if there is time perhaps rescue the planet. Because scientific exercises has brought us to our present mixture of intellectual triumph (see Tim Hunts awards acceptance speech) and socio-ecological peril.

  • Republicofscotland

    “The controversial surveillance technology is used by police agencies worldwide to target the communications of criminals.”

    It’s not just the cops. These systems are used to track shoppers in shopping centres for example which might explain why they were found everywhere. This is old news. You have to wonder why Sky are running a cop baiting story now.”
    ___________________________

    Phil.

    Yeah maybe Andy Coulson knows,SKY are a huge politically minded propaganda machine,who are used to getting their way,occasionally they rant against the system,to fool the masses and you and me.

    But mostly Murdoch’s empire is a Zionist western orientated,fear/war/political machine,feeding the masses BS on a daily basis.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474.abstract

    http://genderandset.open.ac.uk/index.php/genderandset/article/viewFile/283/467

    As I said, the playing field is not (yet) level. Things have improved compared with the time of Marie Curie. This has happened only through hard struggle. But in spite of fielding large numbers of graduates in the Life Sciences and Medicine in the UK, women are still discriminated against in the sciences in Europe and the USA (and elsewhere tends to be far worse). To suggest otherwise is to fly in the face of all the evidence. Indeed it might be said that to deny this in the face of all the evidence is to be profoundly unscientific.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And yet more:

    [from article linked to below]

    ‘Andrew Miller, chair of the Commons Science and Technology Committee – whose report Women in Scientific Careers was published on 6 February – said there was an “awful lot more that could be done” to support women in academic careers.

    He said that some employers in other sectors had been much more active in working to reduce and dismantle the hurdles that women face.

    Just 17 per cent of all professors working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are women, according to the report, which criticises “biases and working practices” that “result in systematic and cumulative discrimination against women throughout STEM study and academic careers”. ‘

    https://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/mps-want-more-to-be-done-to-help-women-in-science/2011076.article

  • Republicofscotland

    Sheriff accuses Chief Constable Sir Stephen House of attempting to interfere with the judiciary.

    “Chief Constable House demanded a meeting with Scotland’s Sheriff Principal Brian Lockhart to voice his anger at comments made by Sheriff Robert H Dickson – who suggested a cover-up culture may exist within Scotland’s single Police Force.”

    “Police Scotland was created by the Scottish Government in early 2013 after local policing across Scotland was scrapped in favour of a more easily ‘controlled’ and now highly politicised policing service steered by PR driven headlines to assist Scottish Ministers increasingly dodgy claims regarding crime statistics.”
    __________________________

    Fred that story is almost a week old,but for once I agree with you Stephen House has to go no ifs no buts just go.

    The toothless PRIC is being used as a gate keeper,they have no power to compel officers to testify against fellow officers,unlike the English IPPC who do have the powers to force officers to testify.

    The story you refer to is the drunk police officer (off duty) drink driving and a fellow officer (on duty) letting him off with it.

    Sheriff Dickson has to be comended for doing his duty and applying the law.

    Stephen House has had a disastrous term as Chief Constable and should resign.

    Finally the PIRC should be give the powers to force police officers in Scotland to give statements and testify in court,against fellow officers if need be.

    The suspicious death of Sheku Bayoh is a
    Prime example of a police cover up.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Notwithstanding the mutterings from Herbie, RepublicOfEverythingUnderTheSun , etc, political correctness is essentially a left-wing phenomenon.

    Conservatives do not fear telling things as they are.

  • CanSpeccy

    @ Johnstone

    CanSpeccy

    I think you are confusing realism and science…

    You can define “realism” in many ways, but to most people, realism is what can be confirmed by observation, and there is no distinction between realism thus defined and science.

    I read Jerry Ravetz’s blurb about his invention of “post normal science,” but fail to see his point, which may explain why after “developing and maturing” the thing for nearly two decades, “the community of adherents is still small.”

    He says this new discipline (?) “shows scientists that their private concerns, however different from the official public discourse of their field, are quite real and valid.”

    Wow, is that supposed to be profound or what.

    Then he says by virtue of his new thingy “non-scientists are given confidence to join in the debate on matters which until recently had been the exclusive domain of accredited experts.”

    Well, maybe he takes more credit than is due. My old mother who left school at the age of 13 had no problem writing letters to the Editor of the Times on anything that concerned her (and had them published, too.)

    He then says: “We argue that the quality-assurance of scientific inputs into policy processes requires an ‘extended peer community’, including all the stakeholders in an issue. This new peer community can also deploy ‘extended facts’, including local and personal experience, as well as investigative journalism and leaked sources. So Post-Normal Science is inevitably political, and involves a new extension of legitimacy and power.” So what he’s saying is that politics has a place in science.”

    That’s what the Pope said when Galileo was being threatened with torture. and to which any scientist of any integrity will say, bollocks.

    Science deals with facts and logical analysis based on facts. Anyone with relevant facts or valid logic can enter into a scientific debate, including non-scientists, though inevitably few non-scientists will have facts relevant to a scientific debate.

    To encourage politicians to engage in the scientific debate is to reduce that debate to a level of unproductive imbecility, as has happened with the climate change debate.

  • CanSpeccy

    @RoS

    And guess what we won’t know what this lot will have planned for us.

    Here’s a list of the KNOWN attendees.

    Looking through the list I see one Canadian insurance salesperson and a Globe and Mail columnist.

    Do these people really matter at all?

    Perhaps Bilderberg must be just some nonsense week-end break for people of minor importance to distract attention from what’s really happening. Part of what someone has called non-linear warfare.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Habbabkuk, you do make a valid point. In my view, political correctness – which is part of the broader configuration of an obsession with appearance over reality – is a phenomenon which arose out of the ideological failure of the Left. It is the capitalist equivalent of excessive, externalised religious piety. In part it is emblematic of the culture of managerialism which has come to define us. It represents a substitute for action and an abandonment of economic critique in favour of an exclusive identity politics de-contextualised from any economic/social class analysis.

    Leaving that aside, this matter of discrimination against women in Science is real. And it ought not to be obscured and diffused, diverted by transient faux-anger in the manner of a ‘reality’ TV show.

    Are there any women scientists here? Would you like to pass comment?

  • CanSpeccy

    @SS:

    this matter of discrimination against women in Science is real.

    Well, SS is clearly not a scientist, since he has a contempt for the scientific convention that one should justify a factual claim with actual evidence!

  • Republicofscotland

    “Looking through the list I see one Canadian insurance salesperson and a Globe and Mail columnist.

    Do these people really matter at all?

    Perhaps Bilderberg must be just some nonsense week-end break for people of minor importance to distract attention from what’s really happening. Part of what someone has called non-linear warfare.”
    ______________________________

    CanSpeccy.

    You’re kidding right? tell me you’re not that naive,to believe it’s some sort of weekend social club meeting.

    Think about it you have politicians meeting with CEO’s and high ranking officals from across the spectrum of business.

    It’s a corporate cabal,with onside politicians deciding future plans on how to f*ck us over.

  • Johnstone

    So normal scientific research and its implementation is not influenced by politicians? Is that what you are saying? Oh yes, I know lets just pretend it isn’t and while we are at it lets just ignore the uncertainties too. Why complicate things?

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