The Other Charlotte has already posted on the saga of England’s Professor Peter Lawrence (“Another Scholar Gets the Larry Summers Treatment”), who had a paper rejected by a respected scientific journal when he suggested that men and women have different scientific aptitudes.
As TOC noted:
“Peter A. Lawrence, a molecular-biology researcher in Cambridge, U.K., had an article accepted by Science, but then, just as the issue was about to go to press, the scientific journal summarily rejected it. Why? Because Lawrence’s essay visited Larry Summers Land, arguing that the reason there are so few women in his field is related to the way the male and female brains are constructed.
“Oh no–you can’t say that, Dr. Lawrence! Fortunately, the Public Library of Science, an online journal picked up Lawrence’s article, and all can read Lawrence’s thoughts about why only 10 percent of the world’s professional biologists are female, even though young women constitute 60 percent of biology majors in college. In the view of Lawrence, the reason has to do with, well, biology.”
This is a very important story, and it has received very little coverage in the U.S. (understandable, as our press has been preoccupied with more important matters, such as the 14 hour “delay” in the reporting of Dick Cheney’s hunting accident).
This Lawrence seems to be standing up for academic inquiry, unlike Harvard’s Larry. There was a good interview with the 64-year-old scientist in an English newspaper, in the in which Lawrence “explains why political correctness means women are getting a raw deal and everyone is losing out.” The interview, conducted by ace interviewer Tessa Cunningham of the Mirror Co. UK, is no longer available on the web.
Here is an excerpt:
“TO DARE to suggest that men and women are born different is one of the last
taboos. Ironically, I actually believe that the average woman is superior to the
“Women are better rounded people, more diverse and empathetic and with much more to offer society than they do now.Which makes it sad that in today’s world we value male qualities such as
competitiveness and bombast above the gentler feminine traits. The result is bad
not just for women – but for all of us.
“If we could only accept that men and women are different we would allow women to be themselves. At the moment, the working environment favours more aggressive people – usually men – and that’s not fair.”