Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Appears Harvard's Summers got it wrong

Villainous Company: Never Assume... demonstrates what you can do with a little research.

The lack of women in the engineering and the hard sciences couldn't be cultural could it? I mean forget about the fact that I had friends who were regularly insulted by engineering professors for "wasting" a seat in engineer classes - being women, what right did they have to study engineering after all?

Anyway Cassandra has some information on mathematics scores for the 1992 SAT. It appears that Asian-American women outscored white men. Is that possibly because Asian-American women are encouraged to study math and science more than women are generally? More than men are? Is it possible that culture is the determining factor and not gender? Did Summers even consider that? (Go take a look at Cassandra's post for the details.)

And then of course there is the standard joke among graduate students in the hard sciences about women PhD candidates, "Like Insects - once they specialize, they don't breed." Gives you some idea of how welcoming those departments seem to college seniors trying to decide if they want to go into academia.

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