The University of California has bowed to feminist pressure and uninvited former Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers to speak there. According to a report from the online Harvard Crimson, a group of female professors from the University of California at Davis drafted an online petition that garnered more than 350 names:
Inviting a keynote speaker who has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia conveys the wrong message to the University community and to the people of California, the women wrote in the petition.
Summers sin asked if the reason for a smaller number of women at the more arcane levels of math and sciences might be that innate aptitude for the higher math and science is distributed differently. This triggered a firestorm that caused feminists to behave in a very mature fashion:
Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, walked out on Summers’ talk, saying later that if she hadn’t left, ‘I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.’ Five other participants reached by the Globe, including Denice D. Denton, chancellor designate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, also said they were deeply offended, while four other attendees said they were not.
Summers said he was only putting forward hypotheses based on the scholarly work assembled for the conference, not expressing his own judgments — in fact, he said, more research needs to be done on these issues. The organizer of the conference at the National Bureau of Economic Research said Summers was asked to be provocative, and that he was invited as a top economist, not as a Harvard official.
I don’t know the source of the complaint that Summers is a racist. But, hey, why not just throw everything at him? Maybe he’s a cat burglar, too.
True to form, Summers apologized again and said he was sorry he wasn’t coming because he would have learned something.