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Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

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New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

February 09, 2005

A good article discussing Harvard President Lawrence Summers's remarks

I have avoided weighing in on Harvard President Lawrence Summers' remarks, about the biological reasons why women are under-represented in the sciences, because I wanted a well thought out article to point to before I posted. Today I got my article.

I am always loath to criticize someone based only on the media's representation of them. Do one research project where a review of media representations of what you are studying is a part of the methodology and you will never look at the media quite the say way again. I have been unable to find a full copy of his remarks so I have no choice but to rely on a variety of sources - triangulation - to assess common threads.

After all that I sincerely think his undergraduate speech teacher should, retrospectively, change is grade to an F. While there are points that were made in the discussion that I see as appropriate, read the Pinker article below for insight, the presentation was a huge problem.

I accept that there are biological differences between males and females. I accept that some of the differences we see are socialization rather then biology, but that also means that in some areas biology trumps socialization. I accept that there are fewer women in the sciences then men. I accept that models of education and scientific work are more adapted to the male pattern of thinking and working. (Find a women who has made it through the education and academic gauntlet without more then a few scares because of her way of looking at things and I will show you a rarity.) What I do not accept is that the current models are the only viable ones for education, academia, or the sciences. Nor do I accept that womens achievement is limited by their biology. What I do accept is that few women want to fight their way through the existing structures to achieve in fields that are hostile to them because of their biology.

From The New Republic, The Science of Difference by Steven Pinker

Posted by prolurkr at February 9, 2005 09:39 AM

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