Following Sir Tim Hunt’s alleged “sexist” remarks in South Korea at a conference of women scientists, there has been a number of exchanges on ideas of authenticity. Not only the context but substance too. Whether the Nobel Prize professor said things ironically, or is a naïve sexist, it is still a war of words.
The Daily Mail brought to public attention Connie St. Louis’ curriculum vitae (CV). She was Hunt’s main pursuer after all. In a piece entitled, “A very flawed accuser,” The Mail questioned the provenance of her CV.
Breitbart has reviewed her CV, not for factual content but as an academic document that is meant to motivate employers into taking any application further. It is worth pointing out the CV was freely available in the public domain, on the 27th June in PDF form. It since has been taken down by World Foundation of Science Journalists (WFSJ), and also the cached version has been deleted, one presumes after a request to Google. However one may view it here, also with her LinkedIn profile.
The CV is clumsily written and contains over 20 flaws of content, grammar and spelling. This may not be unique as Ms. St. Louis’ recent article published in The Guardian was sub-edited with 30 changes for content, grammar and spelling. The original piece was posted on the Guardian by mistake.
The following content is in particular need of attention:
The CV begins December 2001 -Present.
· What was happening from December 2001 to July 2003, which is seventeen months? This is, along time to explain: “I joined City University in July 2003.”
· Sentence ends in thin air: “…education in journalism and proficiency in journalistic” (Sic)
· Simple typographic error, lack of attention to detail: “Sept 2008and..” (Sic)
· Lack of attention to detail, failure to elongate the month: “Sept 2008and” (Sic)
· Too many “ands”: “..features and interviews and drama” (Sic)
· No capital letter for a name: “Radio 4’s landmark Life..” (Sic)
· Incorrect spelling, should be breaches: “..compliance breeches..” (Sic)
· Americanisation: “analyze” (Sic), should be analyse
· Lack of attention to detail. Spelt most of the months in full with exceptions, e.g.: “May 1994 to Jan 1998..) (Sic)”
· Using ‘a’ instead of ‘an’ when followed by a vowel: “As a executive producer” (Sic)
· This should be spelt “two” for consistency: “..prestigious 2 year..” (Sic)
· Spells number out here, no consistency: “six week programme..” (Sic)
· Lack of plural, and again attention to detail: “..then a series of attachment in a wide range of radio..” (Sic)
· Serious CV failure when not only failing to name the university, but also the year of graduation: “B.Sc. (Hons) Upper Second Class degree in Applied Biology.”
· No proof reading: “..Academy ((since..” (Sic)
· Again no proof reading: “..in Science Unit -I attended..” (Sic)
· Wrong tense for an event from three years ago: “..I will be presenting research..” (Sic)
· A scientific paper whose name is not fully capitalised: “‘Can science journalists trust scientists’” (Sic)
· Lack of attention to detail in not fully spelling a word: “Jan 2010” (Sic)
· Start sentence with a capital letter: “July 2010. was President..” (Sic)
· Simple attention to detail and proof reading: “July 2010,2011” (Sic)
· If American spellings are acceptable why spell organised the British way: “and I organised..”
For someone who has an MA in Scientific Journalism these are elementary mistakes. Any recruiter with a modicum of competence would pick up on the general malaise of the CV and might ask questions of the content. Any human resources or hiring manager might seriously reconsider the CV immediately or at the very least ask for clarification.
In a statement earlier this week, Ms St Louis claimed the allegations against her academic and professional background were ‘inaccurate and misleading’. According to the Daily Mail, she added that while response to her story was ‘overwhelmingly positive’: ‘My reputation is being attacked by a story which draws attention to an out-of-date version of my website.’
How anyone at the WFSJ – where her CV resided – not prompted Ms. St. Louis over basic errors seems an open ended question. Ms. St. Louis belongs to a number of prestigious organisations, no doubt passing on a copy of her CV to back-up her application.
Did none of them take even more than a cursory glance before the furore over Sir Tim Hunt went public?