Hunt said his remarks were intended as a "light-hearted, ironic comment"
Tim Hunt, the Nobel-winning scientist who made headlines Wednesday for comments on the “trouble with girls” working in laboratories, resigned from his position as honorary professor at University College London on Thursday, the BBC reports.
Hunt, who told a room full of high-ranking scientists and science journalists at a global conference in South Korea that working with women was troublesome because “they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry,” won a Nobel in 2001 for his work in physiology and medicine.
He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Wednesday that while he stood by his remarks, he was “really sorry that I said what I said” and noted it was “a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists”.
On the BBC, Hunt explained that his comments were “intended as a light-hearted, ironic comment” and had been misconstrued. He also said that the aforementioned “trouble” had been drawn from his own experience.
“I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it’s very disruptive to the science,” he said. “I found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult.”
His now former employer has been careful to distance itself from him. “UCL was the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms to men, and the university believes that this outcome is compatible with our commitment to gender equality,” the University said in a statement.