The Corner

Academic Freedom, Yeah Right

From a reader at Harvard:

Dear Jonah,

I agree with you whole-heartedly about the Summers show trial. As a female scientist, I feel that this situation has made it WORSE for people like me, who has never felt particularly discriminated against (I think, however, that it has more to do with personality traits than the reality of whether one is discriminated against). I am of the generation that will be applying for academic positions in the next, say, two-to-five years, and the “task forces” set up will mean that any woman hired can be considered of questionable quality: were you hired because you excel, or to fill up the diversity quotas? Seems like the same questions one might face if one were of color.

I also hate the notion, which MUST necessarily follow from this kerfuffle, that there are things one cannot discuss. Academic freedom: yeah right!

Keep up the good work!