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The most remarkable bit comes at the very start.

Emails obtained via the European Commission’s Access to Documents system show that, three days after his ‘trouble with girls’ comments on June 8th last year, Sir Tim Hunt offered his resignation ‘with immediate effect’ from the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), the organisation that had sent him to South Korea. […]

In a gracious email exchange, Hunt and Robert-Jan Smits, the Director-General of the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Department, with ultimate jurisdiction over the ERC and its Scientific Council, swapped warm reminiscences of their time working together. Smits accepted the resignation with ‘pain in his heart’.

Hunt had already resigned from his honorary position at UCL. He had stepped down from an awards committee at the Royal Society, and issued several other apologies. A previously unreported email reveals that Hunt had also written to ERC staff calling himself: ‘Idiot!’

Tim Hunt knew he’d said something wrong, and was quick to make amends. So the problem here wasn’t Tim Hunt, it was the people who ignored his actions and tried to protect the Old Boy’s Club.

Even though Hunt had resigned from the ERC Scientific Council without protest, as emails and other documents reveal, its President, Belgian Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, a fellow member of the exclusive science association Academia Europea with Hunt, was actively seeking his reinstatement.

The ERC’s press officer Marcin Monko had accompanied Hunt in Seoul and sent several panicked emails to Brussels in Hunt’s defence after the story broke. In one he claimed Hunt had ‘wanted to be sarcastic and perhaps went too far, but people in the audience laughed and had a relaxed lunch.’ […]

But after Hunt resigned, the strategy changed. On his return to Brussels, a week after Hunt’s toast, Monko wrote a report for the ERC executive and Bourguignon, recounting what he remembered of the speech. The ERC would stress this was not a verbatim account of Hunt’s words and not a transcript, just a recollection.

Bourguignon, in his own words, ‘pressed’ for this report to be entered into the European Commission’s document system, apparently to put pressure on Smits and Commissioner Carlos Moedas to reverse their decision. 

Bourguignon was unaware, it seems, that both men had already read Monko’s emails from Seoul before accepting Hunt’s resignation and their decision had been made with the full facts at their disposal.

It gets more ridiculous from there, from people pouring over Connie St. Louise’s CV for dirt to discredit her, to the entry of GamerGate via some of Hunt’s defenders.

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