Friday, January 21, 2005

Academic intimidation succeeds

The Harvard University president, Lawrence H. Summers, apologized personally on Thursday to a group of distinguished women professors as he battled to convince the university's faculty of his commitment to diversity after remarks suggesting that women may be innately less able to succeed in math and science careers.

Monk and I opined on this at length the other day. Summers' apology is an ill-considered decision and sets a lousy precedent for free speech in academia. Even though he said nothing wrong or inflammatory but challenged a conference simply with IDEAS, the ensuing uproar from ultra-left in academia and the People's Republic of Cambridge forced him to apologize. It is a disgrace that the president of one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the world can't discuss ideas freely in an academic, closed setting.

Should we regulate our speech based on who it might OFFEND??!!!?!?

And where are the legions of fair-minded academics who should have come out in support of Summers? [outside of Steven Pinker]

This crap makes this Harvard alumnus mad as hell. [though not surprised]

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