This prof at Harvard has a new book on the topic which has rankled a few around here. Manliness is a new book by Harvey Mansfield. He asserts that Summers was too unmanly in his conciliation to feminists after his comments about women’s ability to do science. I agree with this point, but I disagree in some sense to his statements about science and, ahem, “manliness”. Certainly the findings of science are typically gender neutral, but masculinity, or features that define men as different from women, has played a role in many scientific fields, which is what got Larry Summers fired in the first place. In my field, Neuroscience, one of the best scientists of the last generation was Patricia Goldman Rakic, and during a memorial at a conference former students remarked on how maternal she was, and how that shaped her research. But talk about the alpha male mentality amongst the top tier scientists and one gets fired, or at least shouted down.
Posted at 10:11 am by Johnny B