A ‘journalist’ and lecturer in science journalism who accused Nobel laureate Sir Tim Hunt of “sexism”, after he told a joke, has left her university post claiming that she was pushed out.
Connie St. Louis, who was accused of faking her CV and a career in journalism, claimed in a statement last year Sir Tim was “in favour of” and “made the case for” single-sex labs, as well as saying women should stay out of the lab as they “fall in love” and “cry”.
Sir. Tim, it transpired, is an avid supporter of women in science and a leaked recording of his address to the conference of female scientists revealed his comment was taken as a joke, with many present laughing.
However, within a week of Mrs. Louis’s allegations, Sir Tim lost an honorary position at UCL, a position at the Royal Society, and another with the European Research Council.
“I’ve been hung out to dry. They haven’t even bothered to ask for my side of affairs,” he later said in an interview.
Now, a year and a half later, Mrs. Lewis is generating headlines once again, claiming City, University of London, where she had been employed since 2003, had been trying to “get rid” of her.
She left on November 30th by mutual agreement, the college said, but Mrs. Louis denied this shortly after in a submission to a House of Commons committee looking into science communication, published last Wednesday.
She accused the college of lying about trying to close her course, blaming her for not recruiting students, and ultimately trying to “corporatis[e] university”.
She writes that, “in May 2016 the new head of the journalism department decided to suspend the science journalism MA.
“The university’s excuse was that I had not recruited enough students. However, on further investigation it was later discovered that students who tried to apply were told by the university that the course was not taking any application[s] and had closed.
“It’s difficult to recruit the required number of students under these circumstances. I am certain that this so-called ‘suspension’ will eventually lead to the course’s complete closure.
“It was the only master’s in science journalism in Europe. They will also use the ‘supposed’ low student numbers as a way to ‘get rid’ and bundle me out of the door. Nothing is too difficult for the new corporatised university.”