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Girls in Math and Science (Take II)
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Here's an excellent follow-up to the whole Summers affair, and it articulates much better than I did why the Harvard President's remarks were so lame:

To start with, when it comes to talking about innate biological differences between the genders, some tact and intellectual rigor is required—if only because of the long history of genetic explanations being used to justify discrimination. So how and what Summers said matters. So, too, does the position from which Summers is speaking. As a university president, Summers has a different role than a professor or researcher and a different set of public obligations. On a local level, he oversees tenure appointments and questions of policy and hiring. Any generalizations he makes about the genetic inferiority of women might easily lead individuals at his institution to question his faith in their ability and, in the best of situations, make it hard to attract talent to Harvard.

Yep...and she goes on to point out that under Summers, tenure appointments of women have declined.

In the first place, the suggestion that genetic differences play some role in the discrepancy between gender representation in top-level science departments is hardly a revelation. Quite the contrary; as the many media responses to his comments have made clear, the terrain of innate differences is well-studied (if still poorly understood).

These two points taken together basically sum it up. He added absolutely nothing new to the discussion, and the only real possible effects of his remarks were negative.

Anyway, go read the whole thing.

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