Source: BBC News
Event: Connie St. Louis: Sexist comments "a reflection of what's happening in our society"
Credit: BBC News
Connie St. Louis: Not in the slightest bit humorous. He stood up, declared that the women had probably prepared the lunch, 'cause that was their role, and then went into this "I'm a chauvinist", and then into his three things that girls are a problem about. And so, very clearly nobody was laughing, there was a room full of a hundred people, nobody was laughing, everybody was stony-faced. The female Korean scientists and engineers who'd hosted us looked aghast and he just ploughed on for about 5-7 minutes, actually. It was, um, it was just really shocking - it was culturally insensitive, and it was very sexist and I just thought "Where in the world do you think you are, that you think you can be making these kind of comments, in 2015?
And I think also the whole backdrop to the problems women are having in science, and in the conference we were talking about the problems that women are having in science journalism, which is what my profession is, and it's a reflection of what's happening in our society, that people think that they can make these kind of comments and get away with it, and I think the response from the Royal Society has been very, very weak. Though the Royal Society has been around since 1660, and in that time there has been no woman to lead that organisation and I think this is just endemic of the kind of problems that they have.
There are loads of women scientists out there who could now be President of this organisation, and, um, you know, there does - the progress seems to be very, very slow, and unacceptably slow. And I think women like myself, who've watched this happening for many, many years are beginning to think "How much longer?" And actually, it's enough now - enough.