Missing the Point at Harvard


Anne Applebaum

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News Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

The Washington Post


The Washington Post Company

Publication Date



From a general, human-interest perspective, I suppose it is exciting when the Harvard faculty gangs up on the Harvard president, as the Harvard faculty ganged up on Larry Summers yesterday -- illustrating again the old saw about the emotions in academic battles running so high precisely because the stakes are so low. From a more esoteric perspective, I suppose it might be interesting to debate whether the tiny group of men with an innate genius for advanced mathematics outnumbers the tiny group of women with the same innate talent, as Summers recently suggested. Nevertheless, it seems odd that so much of the great Larry Summers flap, which has raised such passions in the blocks adjoining Harvard Square, has focused on the potential bars to female achievement that are the least relevant to the rest of us.


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