A Nobel prize-winning scientist has been forced to apologise for saying female colleagues "fall in love" in the workplace and "cry" when criticised.
Sir Tim Hunt, a Cambridge PhD graduate, has come under fire for telling a group of Korean scientists that women distract men from work and should be in same-sex laboratories.
"Three things happen when they are in the lab, you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry," he said.
The 72-year-old also admitted to the audience that he was a "chauvinist pig".
In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday morning, Sir Tim apologised in part, saying “I did mean the part about having trouble with girls... it’s terribly disruptive to the science".
He continued: "It is true that 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 the lab people are on a level playing field and I found that these emotional entanglements made life difficult.
"I mean I'm really really sorry, I didn't mean to cause any offence - that's awful. I just meant to be honest."
But the Nobel prize-winner earned little praise for his climbdown on Twitter.
Got a sneaky feeling that one of Tim Hunt's problems today is not going to be women falling in love with him...— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) June 10, 2015
Seriously ppl, here on Twitter, we're laughing our progressive heads off, but men like Tim Hunt still run universities, businesses, politics— KateMaltby (@KateMaltby) June 10, 2015
Ah, the laydeez- disrupting all that manly science with their alluring girlish ways and talk of kittens, eh Tim Hunt? #r4today— Dr Huxtable (@clioclothed) June 10, 2015
Nobel prize winner Sir Tim Hunt says he falls in love with female scientists & can't work with them. Sexist & unprofessional. #r4today— David K Smith (@professor_dave) June 10, 2015
Dear Tim Hunt, The women aren't the problem. You're the problem. #r4today— Susanna K (@CelloSuze) June 10, 2015
The Royal Society, of which Sir Tim is a Fellow, sought to distance themselves from his comments on Tuesday.
In a statement it said: "The Royal Society believes that in order to achieve everything that it can, science needs to make the best use of the research capabilities of the entire population.
"Too many talented individuals do not fulfill their scientific potential because of issues such as gender and the Society is committed to helping to put this right.
"Sir Tim Hunt was speaking as an individual and his reported comments in no way reflect the views of the Royal Society."
Sir Tim was awarded the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine alongside colleagues Lee Hartwell and Paul Nurse for discovering "key regulators of the cell cycle" in 2001.