An Open Letter to the UCL Council

To: Members of the UCL Council

Ex Officio
Professor Michael Arthur
Mr Omar Khan
Mr Lukmaan Kolia

Mr Ven Balakrishnan
Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones
Dame DeAnne Julius (Chair)
Ms Nahid Majid
Mr Simon Melliss
Ms Lindsay Nicholson
Ms Vivienne Parry, OBE (Vice Chair)
Dr Gill Samuels, CBE
Mr Philip Sturrock, MBE
Baroness Jo Valentine
Baroness (Diana) Warwick

Elected (Professorial)
Professor David Attwell
Professor David Coen
Professor Nick Tyler, CBE

Elected (Non-Professorial)
Dr Martin Fry
Dr John Hurst
Dr Saladin Meckled-Garcia

Dear Members,

On 15th June, UCL announced that it had accepted the resignation of Sir Tim Hunt “in good faith”, without a transparent inquiry into the background of his resignation.

This debases justice to mere expedience. Moreover, official assessments made through an opaque and informal process create an environment in which meaningful discourse cannot be expected.

By setting a precedent of a fragile framework for justice, UCL’s present approach insidiously undermines victims of injustice and their supporters. A public relations campaign must not be allowed to replace a transparent, rigorous, and impartial investigation. This is, indeed, the essence of science.

I call upon UCL to grant Sir Tim due process, by

  1. issuing a public apology for its management of Sir Tim’s case,
  2. reversing its decision to accept Sir Tim’s resignation pending investigation, and
  3. conducting a transparent inquiry, to establish beyond reasonable doubt whether the removal of Sir Tim from his honorary position would be justified in a community of free enquiry and discourse.

Ben Champion, EngD Student, Department of Computer Science, UCL


5 responses to “An Open Letter to the UCL Council

  1. Reblogged this on Unfashionista and commented:
    a student at UcL wrote this – please tweet it out and share it

  2. benjaminhuish

    Hear hear. It is rotten what happened to Sir Tim. Other witnesses highly contest what they claim, people who know him, many past females colleagues, object to how he has be characterised and the ERC disagree with what the critics claim. His record suggests he is anything but a sexist.

    To adlib from Yes Minister, UCL has so much wool in their heads it was childs-play to pull it over their eyes.

  3. Chris Westwood

    Now I have it. An Engineer. Good advice to young girls: reject science and do engineering.

  4. I congratulate you on your decision. However, I believe that your third suggestion about conducting an inquiry is a bit strange because such inquiry cannot be made. And that’s why it was not made. To do it, one has first to say what the accusation of “sexism” means, but it means nothing, not in the law, not in any institutional rules. “Sexism” lives in another dimension. It apparently means many things in tweets but Arthur said tweets were not the reason for his decision. Arthur did not even present the evidence – the few words said at this meeting. If he did, he had no means to connect them with the law and rules. The decision of UCL was a piece of propaganda, probably the worst I have ever seen. Usually such things (political persecutions) are done differently: they invent another reason for removal and hide the true reason. But here, the reason stands as a blatant illegality, a pure political persecution.

    I would think that Arthur’s days at UCL will be short, he probably, having accomplished something impossible, but highly valuable to the new elite, will be moved to a higher position, say, become The Minister of Diversity, Education and Science.

    By the way, do you know what “diversity” stands for? It’s when you take a Chinese, Jew, African, Indonesian, English, French and you give them identical brains.