On the same day the BBC announced that Twitter is losing followers, the CEO has stepped down and the rumour mill has begun to sew the seed of its demise – it is not commercially successful, Twitter has been at its very best.

Following the comments by UCL professor, Tim Hunt, on women in the lab at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea;

“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.”

I don’t like a witch hunt – BUT – this reaction was pure magic, and exactly why Twitter is an important political tool in an era where the media outlets are owned by a few. If you missed it – female scientists from all over the world (the men pitched in too) donned their most sexy lab coats, biohazard outfits and dredging outfits, to pose and post to the hashtag ‘distractinglysexy’. And it was incredibly distracting! Oh the irony.

I would also like to say at this point that humour is important. I was disheartened by the bad press that Matt Taylor recieved for his shirt. Have a heart, spend your time on more important agendas. I don’t know the guy, but can we focus on the science? I wish the offended viewers would have protested in a similar manner, in a much more entertaining way, put the pitch forks away, refrain from personal attacks, and don your most lively and vulgar shirts of naked men…or naked alien shirts? At least he didn’t feel the need to resign!

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 15.53.42Matt Taylor in his distractingly sexy shirt

Here is one for the female scientists out in the world, getting on with important work and discovering incredible things…

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Jocelyn Bell Burnell outside the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, 1968

A Scottish female scientists with balls of steel. Having crafted an esteemed education, in a male dominated subject, I am eternally grateful for such women putting up with the stamping feet and jeering whilst entering the lecture theaters in the 1960s. Many would run a mile, in fact many wouldn’t have even imagined a career in physics. She went on to discover pulsars whilst studying her PhD at Cambridge, much to the disbelieve of her peers. Perseverance allowed her to abolish the alien rumours and the derogatory, sexist comments.

Who needs a Nobel Prize anyway?

pulsarArtist’s impression of a Pulsar

It was hard who to choose who to feature in this post with so many incredible female scientists from history. However, is seemed fitting to pick one who is still going strong. Close contenders: Marie Curie – physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity, Valentina Tereshkova – first woman in space in 1963, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin – another role model for any woman wanted to study astrophysics, Caroline Herschel – an astronomer, helped her brother to discover Uranus, discovered comets, Emmy Noether – known for her contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics …

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