Dr. Matt Taylor of the European Space Agency (ESA) is the lead scientist involved in the Rosetta project, aka the Philae lander that earlier today became the first man-made device to land on a comet. Taylor appeared on a morning show on BBC the day of the landing and nearly caused Twitter to explode. The scientist was wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt emblazoned with images of women — which some called "glamorous" and others called "half-naked."
But pretty much everybody's first reaction was...
Reactions were split. Half the Internet was like...
— Simon Bull (@simonjbull) November 12, 2014
That's how we roll! Rosetta scientist Dr Matt Taylor @mggtTaylor sports a great shirt for #CometLanding pic.twitter.com/zUqKrt28k4 — coconino (@coconino) November 12, 2014
While the other half was all...
— Rose Eveleth (@roseveleth) November 12, 2014
No, @DailyMailUK @esa There's nothing cool, colorful, glam or original about Matt Taylor's gross, adolescent sexism. http://t.co/ZvB3BmIqVO — meg wyckoff (@megwyckoff) November 12, 2014
But his fashion sense (or lack thereof) didn't end at the shirt. Also during his TV appearance, he wore black shorts, which at one point he hiked up high to show off one of his many tattoos. This one, which he got back in January, bore the image of the Philae lander touching down on the comet's surface.
He told his television interviewers that he was "incredibly confident" that Philae would land safely, and the tattoo was his evidence.
— World Have Your Say (@BBC_WHYS) November 12, 2014
But let's get back to what really matters: the shirt.
It's usually not cool to judge a person by their appearance. It never leads to anything good. It's the whole reason Twitter exists. And obviously Dr. Taylor is a brilliant scientist or he would never be able to hold such an important position.
But dude. Come on. Space exploration is one of the most — if not the most — important tasks mankind has ever undertaken. It should be taken seriously.
Now maybe Dr. Taylor isn't sexist, and maybe he's just a free-spirited, fun guy who does crazy things to keep life in perspective, or take the edge off...
But somebody please get the guy a stylist, 'cause he's got godawful taste in clothes.
Photo: Bob Steaman