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A barrier-breaking generation gives context to contemporary female life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Girls Do Science, What a Crazy Idea

Girls swept the top prizes for the first time at the most prestigious high school science competition, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. The NYTimes reporting on the awards, which were announced yesterday, went straight to the person you'd want to hear from on this occasion -- Prof. Nancy Hopkins, the biologist at MIT who had walked out in disgust on a talk by Harvard President Larry Summers two years ago when he opined that "issues of intrinsic aptitude" might account for fewer women than men succeeding in math and science careers. Hopkins told The Times she couldn't honestly say it was shocking that girls would win a science competition. Then she had a great quote: “Why do people think girls can’t do science? Where did this crazy idea ever come from?”
Summers, you may have heard, is ex-Harvard president now, his resignation following a cascade of events that were set in motion by that gaffe and by Hopkins' pointed protest.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe not a 'crazy idea', but where was all the radio and TV coverage of this clearly 'headline grabbing' event, if everything was on the up-and-up? Hasn't this competition always gotten lots of media coverage in the past (doesn't Siemens even 'expect' it every year?). Some healthy skepticism may be in order here! Also Siemens has had major PR problems given its massive corporate corruption scandal.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what REALLY goes on in deciding the winners and losers in this "competition".

Alyson said...

Well said.