It’s too bad that Larry Summers got fired from Harvard, which is essentially what happened. I find the entire episode rather disturbing but couldn’t quite put my finger on why until I read this:

Summers’ intrinsic aptitude comment, like the Mohamed cartoons, exposes the conflict between free inquiry and multiculturalism. Multiculturalism, whether practiced by Islamic fundamentalists or radical feminists, holds as its highest value that no one should be permitted to hurt the feelings of privileged minorities.

and this:

The controversy over Summers’ remarks shows that the multicultural left has a strong dislike of even considering ideas contrary to their world view.

What if Harvard decided to study the differences between men and women when it comes to math and science and comes to the conclusion that there are real differences that explain why women are less prone to enter the field of mathematics or basic sciences, will Summers get his job back and an apology?

This article in the Washington Post highlights an important aspect of this  story that hasn’t been told.

“It says that one group of faculty managed a coup d’etat not only against Summers but against the whole Harvard community,” said Alan M. Dershowitz, longtime law professor at Harvard and a Summers ally. “He is widely supported among students and in the graduate schools.”

According to a poll the Harvard Crimson did on the topic, Summers did enjoy strong support with only 19% of the students polled supporting the decision to resign. In the end, Harvard is the real loser here by allowing a single department to derail the significant transformation of Harvard as a whole.

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3 thoughts on Harvard

  1. This is not the first time that Dr. Summers has provoked controversy. Back in 1991, he suggested the people in Africa should eat pollution. During his first few years as Harvard’s President, he ferociously waged battle with Harvard’s Afro-American Studies department.

    As for Harvard…BusinessWeek reported on the school’s Bad Boy Behavior towards women MBA students in 1998. A 1989 Harvard Business Review article once notably proferred this hypothesis from Summer: “the cost of employing women in management is greater than the cost of employing men” – sparking the “mommy track” debate. Harvard – a university where a professor was sanctioned for falsifying research about the psychological effects of race and sex discrimination. Harvard – a university where professors the likes of Dr. Harvey Mansfield have suggested that Harvard’s academic standards have declined as a result of aggressive affirmative action admissions policies (i.e., Dr. Mansfield believed grade inflation was the scandalous result of admitting “too many minority students”).

    And Harvard Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz, who you quote in your post? He is a tireless apologist for the porn industry who pretends to be a friend of women’s rights. Such a shame.

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