Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lawrence Summers flap

Lawrence Summers is the president of Harvard. During an academic conference on minorities and women in the sciences Summers had the audacity to suggest that one of the reasons there aren't more women professors in science and engineering may be due to innate differences between the sexes.

Predictably, Summers has had to back off his comments and issue an apology after a hue and cry went up from the victimization lobby in the U.S. If you haven't heard about this controversy, you can read about it here .

What I found hysterical was the reaction of one of the female attendees. (I have to thank George Will for this observation (you can read his columns here )). Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at MIT, said that upon hearing Summers' remarks she said that if she hadn't left, she "would've either blacked out or thrown up."

So, this is the progress women have made in academia? Someone says something with which she doesn't agree and she gets a classic case of the "vapors"?

God forbid she engage Summers in a debate on the merits of his argument.

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