Female tech writer gets death threats after criticising comet-landing scientist's sexist shirt

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Rob Moran

Dr Matt Taylor, the European Space Agency's project scientist on the Comet 67P mission. <i>[photo: YouTube]</i>

Dr Matt Taylor, the European Space Agency's project scientist on the Comet 67P mission. [photo: YouTube]

A female tech writer has received abuse and death threats on Twitter after criticising the sexist shirt worn by a scientist involved in this week's Philae comet landing.

Matt Taylor - a scientist from the European Space Agency's Rosetta Project, which successfully landed a space probe on the comet 67P on Wednesday morning, following a decade-long mission - drew online criticism after he was interviewed wearing a shirt with naked women on it.

"No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt," Rose Eveleth - a tech and science journalist for The Atlantic - wrote on Twitter, referencing the wide gender divide in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) industries.

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Other Tweeters similarly voiced their concerns over Taylor's shirt, using the hashtags #Shirtgate and #Shirtstorm, with astrophysicist Katie Mack calling it "inappropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM".