Male physicist presents talk claiming physics was invented and built by men

Male physicist presents talk claiming physics was \invented and built by men\

Cern scientist: Physics built by men – not by invitation

CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, said on Monday it was shocked by the comments made by Professor Alessandro Strumia from Pisa University at a conference in which he said that "physics was invented and built by men". 

The centre has also wiped slides from his talk from its website in line with a code of conduct that does not tolerate personal attacks and insults and said it was reassessing its relationship with the researcher after an outcry from physicists and scientists around the world.

In his presentation Prof Strumia said male scientists rather than female scientists were suffering from discrimination that was based on ideology rather than merit.

CERN considers the presentation delivered by an invited scientist during a workshop as highly offensive and supports the many members of the community that have expressed their indignation, said Arnaud Marsollier, media spokesman for CERN. 

CERN, the organisation which discovered the Higgs Boson particle in 2012, hosted the conference on high energy physics and gender in Genoa on Friday. 

The (scientific) community is in shock, Mr Marsollier told The Telegraph. We know physics is dominated by males. This workshop was organised to make progress and thats why we find it so shocking. We feel it should not happen in future."

In a statement CERN, which appointed its first female director-general, Fabiola Gianotti, in 2016, said it was a culturally diverse organisation that brought people together from dozens of nationalities. Mr Marsollier said CERNs management was meeting on Monday to assess its future relationship with Professor Strumia.

It is a place where everyone is welcome, and all have the same opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation, the statement said.

Diversity is a strong reality at CERN, and is also one of the core values underpinning our code of conduct.  The organisation is fully committed to promoting diversity and equality at all levels.

Prof Strumia could not be reached on Monday but has reportedly defended his comments despite the outcry.

Dr Jessica Wade, a physicist at Imperial College London who also spoke at the conference, tweeted her disgust over Prof Strumias analysis.

Short summary of Strumias talk: women arent as good at physics as men and theyve been allocated too much funding/ been promoted into positions of power unfairly. He said this to an audience of early career #womeninSTEM, she said.

However, Nico Macdonald, a visiting fellow at Londons South Bank University, said that Prof Strumias paper may well be wrong but that did not warrant removal.

It should be responded to scientifically, and politically, not removed as highly offensive, he tweeted.

Prof Alessandro Strumia called highly offensive after saying male scientists were discriminated against

Professor Alessandro Strumia of Pisa University sparked fury when he said at a seminar on gender issues in physics that male scientists were being discriminated against because of ideology rather than merit.

He told the audience, mostly comprised of female physicists, that female researchers in Italy tend to benefit from either free or cheaper university education, while Oxford University extends exam times for womens benefit. Strumia added that his results proved that physics is not sexist against women.

Read more Strumia defended his presentation, telling the Guardian that his detractors were trying to paint me as a monster who discriminates against women and that his presentation of facts was in response to statements made about men discriminating against women.

He said the data, which originated from published research papers from an online library, showed there was no discrimination in citations, in that male and female scientists were equally cited in presentations, but that when it came to hiring, women were favoured.

Strumia, who regularly works at Cern, added that comments made by a participant at the event suggesting that the sphere of physics was most rife with sexual abuse, after the military, were totally absurd.

These people are so worried about problems that dont exist – what I actually said has good purpose; we are not discriminating, women have been helped for years.

Cern, whose director general is the Italian physicist Fabiola Gianotti, described Strumias presentation as highly offensive and removed the slides used in his talk from its website, adding in a statement: The organisers from Cern and several collaborating universities were not aware of the content of the talk prior to the workshop. Diversity is a strong reality at Cern, and is also one of the core values underpinning our code of conduct. The organisation is fully committed to promoting diversity and equality at all levels.

Gianotti, from Rome, became the first woman to hold the five-year mandate as director general of Cern in 2016.

Dr Jessica Wade, a physicist from Imperial College London who was at the event, told the BBC that Strumias presentation was really upsetting to those at the workshop and that his analysis was simplistic and drew on ideas that had long been discredited.

Strumia claims he was overlooked for a role in favour of a woman and that anyone who speaks out is attacked, censored or risks losing their job.

I like physics and science because everyone can do what they want – I dont like it when theres social engineering to decide how many men, women and categories there should be, he said.

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