Skip to comments.Who Stole Harvard? Big Sisters and Larry Summers.
Posted on 03/22/2005 10:54:04 AM PST by Crackingham
The Harvard faculty of arts and science just last week passed a motion expressing a lack of confidence in the leadership of President Lawrence Summers. Such censure is unprecedented in Harvard's near 400-year-history. Summers unwittingly stepped on the third rail of university politics when he speculated that innate differences between the sexes might be one reason there are fewer women than men at the highest echelons of math and science. To understand the hornets' nest Summers has stirred up, one needs to have a close look at the main hornets.
To an outsider, the controversy must look very strange. Nothing Summers said was a threat to the advancement of a single competent woman in any of the sciences. The statistical fact that more men tend to score in the top-five percent of math-aptitude tests makes no predictions whatsoever about the abilities of any particular man or woman. Far from being outrageous or sexist, Summers's comments were completely respectable and altogether mainstream. But not in the academy. As one outraged Harvard feminist professor of ethics, Mahzarin Banaji, told the Harvard Crimson, "In this day and age to believe that men and women differ in their basic competence for math and science is as insidious as believing that some people are better suited to be slaves than masters."
The January 14 conference where Summers spoke was organized by the National Bureau of Economic Research. While many members of the audience found his remarks measured and thought-provoking, a few were deeply offended that he entertained the idea that natural differences between men and women played a role in career paths. The press has widely reported on the overreaction Nancy Hopkins, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist and feminist activist who says she almost became physically ill. What many press stories fail to mention is that this is not the first time Professor Hopkins had been offended by perceived sexism.
In the late 1990s, she accused MIT of bias against herself and several of her female colleagues. Instead of bringing in objective outsiders to evaluate her complaints, MIT put Hopkins herself in charge of investigating her own charges. She spearheaded a gender-bias study that concluded surprise, surprise that there was insidious bias against women at MIT. The study proved to be a travesty. It was altogether unscientific. Hopkins and her co-investigators did not produce any hard data. Most of the "evidence" came in the form of anecdotes about hurt feelings and perceptions of invisibility and discomfort. One critic aptly described the study as part of the dubious legacy of postmodernism: "evidence-free, feelings-based research." In 1999, The Chronicle of Higher Education called Professor Hopkins the "poster child for gender bias," and said that that she had done for sex discrimination what Anita Hill did for sexual harassment. MIT met all of her demands; she was invited to speak on campuses around the country; the Ford Foundation donated a million dollars to her cause, and she was treated like a heroine by the Clinton White House.
So speaks a slave of Political Correctness. ;)
Harvard wanted to divest from Israel and I believe they denied an Israeli scientist from working at Harvard.
I am sure the details of their ugly downward spiral is documented on the net somewhere.
The closer you live to Harvard. The less impressed you are with it.
Harvard has been a lost cause since 1805.
That's when they succumbed to Unitarianism.
When I was younger Harvard had a quota for jewish students, last I heard there was a quota for asian students. Certain people complained because the asians were sssssssoooooo smart.
Why don't you ask the admin mod to link your excerpted article? Use the report abuse function to get a timely response. Adios
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