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Nobel Laureate on 'Disruptiveness' of Women in the Lab

This post has been updated to note Hunt's resignation.

Tim Hunt, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2001, told attendees of a lunch in South Korea honoring women in science this week that he's not a fan of having women in the lab, according to Buzzfeed.

Hunt has resigned from his honorary professorship at the University College London, the school says

His remarks weren't recorded, but attendees say that Hunt said he supports labs that are segregated by sex, according to Buzzfeed. "Let me tell you about my trouble with girls," he reportedly said. "You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry!"

The Guardian notes that Hunt has apologized for his remarks, saying they were meant to be funny, though that he did mean that he'd had trouble with romantic entanglements in the lab.

"It is true … I have fallen in love with people in the lab and people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it's very disruptive to the science because it's terribly important that in a lab people are on a level playing field," he tells BBC Radio 4's Today program.

Still, UCL's David Colquhoun tells the Guardian that Hunt's remarks were a "disaster for the advancement of women."

Jennifer Rohn, also from UCL, tells the Associated Press that comments like that, as they come from a top scientist, "are going to be taken to heart by some young female scientists. And I think that is a real shame, because we still have a very long way to go to get equality in the sciences."