02/06/2015 13:06 BST | Updated 02/06/2015 13:59 BST

Scientist Agony Aunt Alice Huang Tells Reader To 'Put Up' With Colleague Staring At Her Chest

And the award for most inappropriate piece of advice ever goes to...

Science magazine's career advice columnist, Alice Huang (aka Ask Alice), who responded to a woman's query about sexual harassment at work by telling her to "put up with it".

Sorry, what?

female scientist

A reader wrote into the magazine with the following query: "My adviser is a good scientist, and he seems like a nice guy.

"Here’s the problem: Whenever we meet in his office, I catch him trying to look down my shirt. Not that this matters, but he’s married. What should I do?"

Huang told the reader to "put up with it, with good humour".

She added: "Just make sure that he is listening to you and your ideas, taking in the results you are presenting, and taking your science seriously.

"His attention on your chest may be unwelcome, but you need his attention on your science and his best advice."

According to Mashable, Huang's advice column was promptly taken down, lasting less than 24 hours online. The advice column has been replaced with an Editor's Note, which explains the piece was "inconsistent" with the magazine's efforts to promote the role of women in science.


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The columnist also said that she didn't believe this kind of behaviour was classed as "unlawful sexual harrassment" under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Huang added: "I don’t mean to suggest that leering is appropriate workplace behaviour — it isn’t — but it is human and up to a point, I think, forgivable."

Many have since taken to Twitter to protest the advice column.

The advice was posted on 1 June and has since been taken down for not meeting editorial standards.

Science Magazine added that Huang's advice: "had not been reviewed by experts knowledgeable about laws regarding sexual harassment in the workplace".

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[H/T Mashable]