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Wednesday 25 November 2015

Don’t Menshn KOFWST

It seems inconceivable that the Tim Hunt affair should still be rumbling on, and yet it is, fuelled mainly by the obsession of (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch, who has ever persuaded some of her supporters that she is right, and everyone else is wrong. But for this particular Wild West Show, the moment of reality has come, courtesy of the Korean Federation of Women in Science and Technology (KOFWST).
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

Ms Mensch has levelled a number of variously creative accusations against KOFWST, who sponsored the lunch at the Seoul conference where Hunt made his unfortunate remarks. “KOFWST slandered Hunt in translating wrong … [Deborah] Blum had the apology before KOFWST posted it … Hunt had *already* given this exact apology to the Observer it wasn't special to KOFWST” were some of the gems.
These were followed by “Dr. Paik of KOFWST was (charitably) in huge denial … KOFWST members saying weren't consulted”. There have been more. Along with this has been an incessant stream of emails aimed at anyone incurring Ms Mensch’s displeasure, many of which, one recipient has told me, are “charmless, hostile and often highly defamatory”. One of those recipients is KOFWST’s Hee Young Paik.
Dr Paik is a respected scientist in her own right, and a former Government minister. The disrespectful and dismissive attitude displayed towards her - and many others - by Ms Mensch, together with her insistence on selective presentation of facts, is clearly at the root of today’s KOFWST statement [download HERE], although unlike her, there is no blatant personalisation, but then, it is clear who they are talking about.
The statement opens: “In a special meeting of its Executive Council on November 16, 2015, the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations (referred to hereafter as KOFWST) examined what was argued in a series of email messages sent to KOFWST President Hee Young Paik concerning KOFWST communication regarding Sir Tim Hunt. After reviewing relevant facts and evidence in a thorough manner, the KOFWST Executive Council has stated its position as follows”.
The evidence is then set out, before this damning conclusion: “In conclusion, as far as KOFWST’s involvement is concerned, the case involving Sir Hunt’s inappropriate remark is a matter brought to resolution; KOFWST requested an apology, Sir Hunt responded with an apology, and his letter of apology, along with its Korean translation, was made public. In light of this, KOFWST issues a warning about the ongoing serious distortion of facts by foreign commentators, suggesting that KOFWST has lied, or that KOFWST’s request to Sir Hunt was influenced by foreign journalists. Such allegations ignore undeniable facts and evidence and demonstrate a lack of regard for KOFWST’s autonomy and integrity”. It is not difficult to figure out who they mean.
KOFWST’s statement ends with “KOFWST makes clear that this statement is its official and final position”. Zelo Street understands that Ms Mensch’s claims regarding KOFWST have been dismissed as “groundless”.
And with that, Louise Mensch’s remaining credibility on the Tim Hunt affair could be heard gurgling its way down the plug hole. KOFSWT has delivered her the ultimate brush-off.


Anonymous said...

The woman is nothing but a tin drummer.

And a very bad one at that.

BMC said...

I make this comment in all seriousness - it really is time that those close to LM got her some psychiatric help.

Unknown said...

Her track record on this issue has been good so far. Considering she is fighting a huge industry almost single handedly, with just a small number of helpers, then an error is possible. Let's see how this pans out. She may have the last laugh.