Ruth Marcus: Larry Summers Was Right About Men and Women in Math and Science

A journalist chides an academic for telling an impolitic truth.

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By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

The always interesting Ruth Marcus in her Washington Post column confesses, with some caveats and apparent unease, that Larry Summers was right when he made his controversial statements about men and women in science and math—statements that resulted in his ouster as president of Harvard. Marcus cites studies that show that men outnumber women by a wide margin among those with the very highest (and very lowest) scores in math and science aptitude tests. But she concludes by saying that Summers shouldn't have said what he said, even though it was right, presumably because in his line of work—academe—you shouldn't utter truths people don't want to hear. What an indictment of the academy! Academics used to pride themselves as fearless seekers of truth. Now, an academic is chided by a journalist who is a pretty good seeker of truth herself for telling an impolitic truth. Fascinating.

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