Women and Science Don't Mix?

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photoHarvard University president Larry Summers stirred up controversy last week when, at an invitation-only economic conference, he questioned whether the current shortage of elite female scientists might be due to "innate" differences between men and women.

Top female scientists have expressed outrage at his comments. Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences Standing Committee on Women lambasted the former U.S. Treasury Secretary in a letter addressed to him.

Summers is now apologizing and says that he was misunderstood. But the impact of his remarks is still resonating and has turned heads, once again, to the question of nature, nurture and the biological boundaries between men and women.

Hear about women in the sciences and the struggle over genes and gender.


Audie Cornish, reporter for WBUR;
Nancy Hopkins, Professor of Biology and Co-Chair of the Council on Faculty Diversity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Kimberlee Shauman, Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Davis;
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst and senior editor at Atlantic Monthly

This program aired on January 19, 2005.


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