The thought patrol is after an unusual quarry this week: Instead of a Republican senator or evangelist, the posse is hot on the trail of none other than Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, who had the audacity to remark that intrinsic differences between men and women may be a factor in why fewer women than men pursue careers in the fields of math and science.

The AP reports:

“The remarks prompted Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist Nancy Hopkins — a Harvard graduate — to walk out on Summers’talk, The Boston Globe reported.

“It is so upsetting that all these brilliant young women (at Harvard) are being led by a man who views them this way,” Hopkins said later.

Summers has not backed down–yet:

The New York Times reports that he has issued a statement saying he was misconstrued. “I’m sorry for any misunderstanding but believe that raising questions, discussing multiple factors that may explain a difficult problem, and seeking to understand how they interrelate is vitally important,” Dr. Summers said in an interview.

The women of Harvard may be able to add, but they aren’t going to welcome a discussion of multiple factors. If some of the factors challenge feminist orthodoxy, they’re going to want to kiss scientific inquiry good-bye.

P.S. This Charlotte is not venturing an opinion on Mr. Summers’original remark, beyond noting that if it weren’t for that blankety-blank math SAT…