Rosetta scientist apologises over *that* shirt

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Friday 14 November 2014 16:00
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Dr Matt Taylor, the Rosetta project scientist, has apologised for wearing a shirt with a print of scantily clad women on it during an interview.

On the day the Rosetta team successfully landed a probe on a comet for the first time in human history, Dr Taylor's choice of attire attracted controversy with some writing it was sexist. The row even had its own hashtag, shirtgate.

On the Verge, under the headline "I don't care if you landed a spacecraft on a comet, your shirt is sexist and ostracising", Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross wrote Dr Taylor's top represented "the sort of casual misogyny that stops women from entering certain scientific fields."

They see a guy like that on TV and they don't feel welcome. They see a poster of greased up women in a colleague's office and they know they aren't respected

  • Chris Plante and Arielle Duhaime-Ross

On XOjane, S.E. Smith wrote: "The frustrating thing about the shirt, beyond the obvious sexism and how upsetting it was to see a thing like that when you were just trying to watch a really cool science thing (also a technical term), was that it illustrated why STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths] continues to be so hostile to women, and why so many women are not enthused about entering careers in STEM."

Meanwhile Jezebel noted that the female reporter whose tweet suggesting the shirt was sexist went viral received violent threats.

Speaking during a live web chat this afternoon, Dr Taylor said: "The shirt I wore this week I made a big mistake and I offended many people. I am very sorry for this." He broke down in tears following his expression of regret.

More: Meet the tattooed British Rosetta scientist ripping up the stereotypes

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