Below, I'm compiling links, with excerpts, to posts on other blogs about the remarks on gender differences in the sciences made by the president of Harvard a few days ago. The comments are also well worth reading in many cases.
Pharyngula, who appears to be a male scientist at a university in Minnesota:
I’ll tell you how much of a role discrimination plays in limiting female professors in so-called “elite” universities: 100%. There is no shortage of brilliant women scientists (or brilliant male scientists), but there is a dearth of jobs and we still have bigoted ignoramuses like Summers standing guard over the gateways.
Having said that his hypothesis is "based on . . . scholarly work," Summers goes on to offer this incredibly scholarly piece of evidence:
"In his talk, according to several participants, Summers also used as an example one of his daughters, who as a child was given two trucks in an effort at gender-neutral parenting. Yet she treated them almost like dolls, naming one of them ''daddy truck,' and one ''baby truck.'"
Well, I've got news for you, Larry. My son, whose father took him to see the first X-Prize launch, calls SpaceShipOne the "Mama Plane" and the "Baby Plane." Click on the link, you'll see why. So I think maybe a little more research needs to be done on this topic before your darling daughter--who I'm sure was raised in a completely non-sexist environment (not)--can really serve as definitive proof that girls can't do math and science.
Women at the conference—which was about women and minorities in science and engineering—were less than pleased. Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at MIT, walked out on his talk, saying that if she hadn't she “would've either blacked out or thrown up.”
And I have to say, I don’t buy Summers’ attempt to spin his comments as “hypotheses,” especially after learning that the number of tenured job offers made to Harvard women has dropped significantly since he took office. What a coincidence…