If you were in any doubt that a dark cloud of illiberalism has descended over the Western academy, then the case of Tim Hunt should put you straight.
Hunt is a British biochemist. A really good one. In 2001 he won the Nobel Prize for his breakthrough work on cells. He's a fellow of the Royal Society in London, founded in 1660 and thought to be the oldest scientific research institution in the world. And this week he was unceremoniously ditched by University College London for telling a joke.
Hunt's crime, writes Brendan O'Neill, was to make a not-very-funny gag during an after-dinner speech at a conference on women in science in South Korea earlier this week. Hunt promptly fell victim to the offence-policers, to the machine of outrage being constantly cranked up by self-styled guardians of what we may think, say, and even joke about.