I didn't find Sue Nelson's statement agreeing to Athene Donald's ceasefire very gracious. I hope that what she meant is that she never wants to hear Tim Hunt's name sullied again, since that sullies her name too through her involvement in the story. As I said in my comment to my last post, this ultimately shows that this was a bad story that should never have been told. It's a controversy that nothing good came of.
A good example of how sullied Tim Hunt's name is because of the controversy, is the coverage of Mary Collins' decision to move to Japan in the Guardian. I'm working towards a time when the Seoul episode is no longer written about in that way. The story should be remembered something like this, which I would suggest as a correction to the Guardian's article if I thought it would help:
Hunt, who won the Nobel prize in 2001, lost his honorary post at University College London after he spoke at a lunch for female science journalists in South Korea. His wife, Professor Mary Collins, a prominent immunologist, also at UCL, was enraged by the way UCL treated her husband. She said that the university had behaved in “an utterly unacceptable way”. She has since left UCL for a position in Japan.
Hunt became embroiled in controversy after it was falsely reported on Twitter that he had called for separate laboratories for men and women and had suggested that women cried when they were criticised. The reports failed to point out that Hunt had been joking at the time in the context of a lighthearted toast that was highly supportive of women in science. “I really do hope there is nothing holding you back," he had quipped, "especially not [chauvinist] monsters like me.”
Hunt immediately regretted the easily misinterpreted remark, and apologized for the offense that the interpretation caused, but he was nonetheless mercilessly ridiculed on Twitter for finding women scientists "distractingly sexy" and became, for a time, the public face of sexism in science. His forced resignation from UCL was a major factor in his loss of reputation, contributing unwarranted credibility to the initial and now discredited reports.
This provides a much better framing of Collins' departure from UCL (though her motives are of course entirely, and rightly, left to speculation). And it resolutely avoids dragging Tim Hunt's name back into the mud from which Louise Mensch has recovered it.
The attempted destruction of Tim Hunt's reputation caused a lot of "collateral" damage and came at a great cost also to the reputations of those who "called him out". The two sides that are now enjoying the peace of a Christmas ceasefire are those (like me) who believe Connie St Louis caused the controversy, and therefore the damage, and those (like Connie St Louis) who believe that Tim Hunt caused it. I would still like to debate this question with Sue Nelson, even accepting her version of the facts. But I will wait for her to engage if she chooses.
Update: The Daily Mail's framing of this story, its obvious slant notwithstanding, is much closer to how I think history will, and certainly should, remember this episode.
Update 2: There's a much better piece in the Observer. I respect Mary Collins' view that the move to Japan is driven by her own career choices, not the events surrounding her husband's remarks in Seoul. But in making these decisions, it seems to me, one is always comparing one's current employer with the prospective one. UCL failed, in my eyes, to retain Collins as a member of their faculty, which is a loss to her colleagues and her students.