Grateful public crowdfunds more than US$16,000 to buy a gift to support scientist whose shirt was deemed offensive

Go science.

Belmont Lay| November 18, 06:41 PM

Matt Taylor is a project scientist for Rosetta, the first man-made robotic probe to have landed on a comet.

However, the glorious moment for human space exploration on Nov. 12, was overshadowed by the outcry from some people who got offended by a shirt Taylor was wearing when he was interviewed on TV about his accomplishments.

The shirt was deemed offensive and misogynistic because it featured a design of scantily clad women. This led to a #Shirtstorm on Twitter with many factions feeling outraged.

Two days later, on Nov. 14, Taylor apologised for his satorial decision and broke down crying.

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However, in his corner, are thousands of other grateful people who identify themselves as part of the science-loving public, who are willing to overlook the sexual imagery and derogatory overtones of his over-fancy shirt.

To show their appreciation for the scientist, they have taken to crowdfunding site Indiegogo with the intention to raise some US$3,000 to buy Dr. Taylor an astronomical watch worth US$2,867:


As the original funding target has since exceeded by more than five times, the remainder of the money will pay for a pen from the Mont Blanc Star Walker collection for project manager Fred Jansen.

And if more money gets raised, there will be plans to either organise a dinner for the entire team or send everyone a bottle of whiskey with a custom label mentioning their names and role in the mission.

The Indiegogo fundraising page has an update on Nov. 16, 2014, saying that Taylor is aware of the crowdfunding efforts but he has to first seek the approval of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Indiegogo page also has a plea from the fundraiser to look beyond the politics:

ESA, if you are reading this, please keep in mind that this has NOTHING to do with politics. We are just citizens of Earth willing to do a nice gesture and show some appreciation.


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