Who Says A Woman Can't Be Einstein?
THERE WAS SOMETHING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ABOUT Harvard University President Larry Summers' speech on gender disparities in January. In his first sentence, he said his goal was "provocation" (rarely a wise strategy at a diversity conference). He called for "rigorous and careful" thinking to explain the gender gap among top-tier tenured science professors. But he described his pet theory with something less than prudence. The most likely explanations, he said, are that 1) women are just not so interested as men in making the sacrifices required by high-powered jobs, 2) men may have more "intrinsic aptitude" for high-level science and 3) women may be victims of old-fashioned discrimination. "In my own view, their importance probably ranks in exactly the order that I just described," he announced.
Ripley, Amanda, "Who Says A Woman Can't Be Einstein?" (2005). ADVANCE Library Collection. Paper 214.