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It's not just hiring decisions. A professor can influence the careers of his students in many ways. In many cases, he can make or break their careers. For example, the recommendation letters he writes for graduating students can make a huge difference in their careers. I would worry very much if I discovered that the head of my lab is prejudiced against women. But moving to other labs etc is often not an option at this stage.

In this specific case, I agree that this looks like an over-reaction, and there is no evidence that he actually did discriminate against women. I am also strongly against punishing people for thought crimes, and the current tendency of mob justice worries me a lot. That said, I don't think it's completely black and white, and I can see a situation where something a person says can make him or her unsuitable for his or her current position, especially in the area of education.

Plenty of people who discriminate are smart enough to not publically speak about the fact that they discriminate.

Being willing to make a joke of the nature that Tim Hunt made in front of an audience of female journalists and scientists is evidence that Tim Hunt believes that he nobody in the audience has an interest of attacking him for being misogynist.

Punishing people for this kind of speech simply results in smart people who actually are discriminating not making those kinds of remarks openly. You prevent open debate.
I don't think you get less discrimintion by forbidding people from openly talking about it in academia.

When it comes to high school teachers, I would prefer teachers who promote the growth mindset so there's a stronger case for restriction of speech.

Freedom of expressing controversial ideas is important for academics while it isn't for high school teachers.
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