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Matt Taylor the ESA scientist with tattoos and bright shirts.

That could have been me if I was a lot more clever. I feel for the guy. Matt Taylor is the English guy with the tattoos and bright shirts who is one of the key people behind the comet landing programme. He is a pretty amazing guy and I would put money on him being sensitive, thoughtful, respectful of all people, men or women, in real life.

So after landing a fridge on a comet and getting on the TV, his choice of shirt, one showing ‘naked ladies’ is putting women off science. He is clearly gutted and makes a tearful apology on TV before going on to answer some science questions.

  • He is clearly an phenomenally intelligent guy who has been instrumental in coordinating an incredible feat of engineering, technology and science.
  • He is clearly a ‘character’ and also obviously into an ‘alternative’ scene’.
  • He is also obviously a bit scatty (I mean that in a good way).
  • I saw his shirt and thought it was brilliant – all I saw were bright colours, I didn’t see naked ladies, (this might be because of resolution, might just be because I saw the colours, not the shapes. I like bright shirts, I buy them because they are bright, I sometimes don’t realise they have a picture/pattern).
  • It turns out the shirt was a gift from a friend who had made it for him.
  • I can totally understand that he wanted to wear something that had significant sentimental value to him on such an amazing day.
  • I would bet that if anyone had even suggested that his choice of shirt might offend people he would have spent the rest of the day bare chested if there wasn’t an alternative.
  • Some people, then the social media lynch mob, decided his shirt embodies all the reasons that science is an unwelcoming place for women.

My daughter, active feminist, currently shouting at One Direction’s stupid song on the TV because they are squawking ‘She *belongs* to me’, thought the shirt was cool.

I hope that when Matt gets back to Blighty, he might consider coming and talking about his work with my daughter’s school, they would welcome him with open arms. They really would.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30053204