Lord Robert Winston backs professor in trans row by saying ‘you can’t change your gender’


Asked whether others say people can change their gender, the former vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University doubled his point.

He continued, “Well unfortunately you can’t say it publicly, but that’s one of the big issues.

“The people who say that about this program are definitely going to bring myself to receive a huge amount of hate mail – I still do.

“But I think it’s a big attitude issue.

“There are of course issues, which are important, about young people who are confused about their gender.

“We won’t go down that road here, but it affects a lot of problems in schools and elsewhere in our society. Of course, we have to accept people as they are.

“Overall, I think it’s a very sad thing that we can’t discuss this biological science without being completely emotionally caught up in something that is really completely wrong.”

Before continuing, host Bruce said, “There are a lot of people who would vehemently disagree with you, so I’ll just make it clear.”

Last week, the University of Sussex Vice Chancellor said the institution would not tolerate threats to “academic freedoms”, adding that everyone at the university has the right to be at the free from “harassment and intimidation”.

In a statement, the Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) said all trans and non-binary members “should more than ever receive unequivocal support” from the University of Sussex.

He added: “We urge our leadership to take a clear and firm stance against transphobia in Sussex.”

The statement comes after an anonymous group, believed to have been created by students, launched a campaign to sack Professor Stock for his views on gender identification.

Posters calling for Professor Stock’s dismissal were reportedly placed near the campus, and an image appeared on social media of an activist holding a banner saying: “Out of stock”.

Professor Stock, who shared the UCU Sussex statement on Twitter on Tuesday, said: “My former UCU Sussex union branch has just ended my career at the University of Sussex. This has just been sent to all the members.”

The UCU said members of the Sussex branch executive were now receiving “personal threats” the union raised with university leaders.

How did Professor Stock become the eye of the storm?

Professor Stock has previously said she “disagrees” with much of academics because she believes gender identity is no more important than the facts about biological sex, “particularly with regard to law and policy “.

In January, hundreds of academics criticized the decision to make Professor Stock an OBE for higher education services as part of the New Year’s honors.

In the open letter, the philosophers condemned academics who use their status to “increase gender oppression” and said they denounce “transphobia in all its forms”.

A statement shared by the University of Sussex Students Union said on Friday: “We stand in solidarity with our trans, non-binary student community – a community that was not mentioned in statements made by the university and Adam Tickell, the Vice-Chancellor. “

He added: “The peaceful protest, which is all the protest group has done, is not censorship. It has a basic democratic function; those involved exercise their civil liberties.

A spokesperson for the University of Sussex said: “We have acted – and will continue to act – firmly and swiftly to combat bullying and harassment, to defend the fundamental principle of academic freedom, to support our community and continue to advance our work on equality, diversity and inclusion We care deeply about finding that balance.

“There is a range of very strong views and opinions across the university on a wide variety of issues and topics, including how we support our trans and non-binary community, particularly at this time.

“As a community we need to come together and talk about what’s going on right now and look at the way forward.

“We will do this in the coming weeks and it will be led by our new Vice-Chancellor for Culture, Equality and Inclusion.”

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