This BBC article summarizes the story, with relevant pictures. The scientist in the quote is Matt Taylor:
One of the leading scientists on the Rosetta Project gave a string of TV interviews in a shirt emblazoned with half-dressed women. The angry reaction online spawned two hashtags, spoof images and has now led to a tearful apology as well.
The Story of the Shirt has indeed provoked lively debates online and possibly elsewhere, too. There are two major sides to these debates, and because I happen to be bilingual in this stuff, I'm going to give you the main messages of both sides, in terms which are clear to people on the other side! Isn't that useful and wonderful?
First, the side which can be simplified into "women-in-science and women interested in those
Here we go again! An important public interview about the fun and excitement in science, a major moment in the history of space exploration, and women are present in leather corsets sticking out their butts and tits from the shirt. The broculture in action! It's their world and we can only visit it if we are willing to stick our butts and tits out the same way. If he had to wear a shirt with women on it, why not this one?
And this is what Taylor said in the interview:
During an interview about the landing, Dr Taylor had branded the comet landing 'the sexiest mission there’s ever been.'She’s sexy, but I never said she was easy.'
Got that? It's good to remember that Taylor's field is covered with guys, in statistical terms. All this (and the broculture) should be kept in mind when considering the above message from one world. It's also important to remember that this shit is drip-drip-drip, nonstop, even though consisting of tiny and essentially trivial jabs in one's eyeballs and ears.
Second, the defenders of Matt Taylor. This group consists of people who think Taylor is just a bit of a goofball:
The guy is socially clumsy. After all, scientists are socially clumsy. He was trying to make the point that he's just the average guy, having fun, wearing a shirt a friend made him, showing all of us that science is fun and that nerds aren't really nerdy at all but ordinary folk:
Before the emergence of #shirtgate, Dr Taylor, a father-of-two and the son of a brick layer, praised on Twitter for being 'a proper cool scientist' and 'definitely not boring'.One Twitter user wrote: 'Dr Matt Taylor is what every scientist should look like - rad shirt, sleeve tattoos. Rad,' while another said: 'Matt Taylor causing thousands of people to choke on their cornflakes this morning.'