Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bang the Drum, Forever

"Girls swept the top prizes" at this year's national Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, with Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff, both 17 and high school seniors from Long Island, splitting one $100,000 scholarship and Isha Himani Jain, a 16 year-old senior from Pennsylvania, earning a second $100k award. Monday's New York Times reports the results, but can't resist extraneous editorializing:
The three girls’ victories is “wonderful news, but I can’t honestly say it’s shocking,” said Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Hopkins helped start a national discussion about girls and science two years ago when she walked out of a talk by Harvard University’s president, Lawrence H. Summers, after he suggested that innate differences between men and women might be one reason that fewer women than men succeed in math and science careers. Dr. Summers apologized during the ensuing furor; he announced his resignation as Harvard’s president 13 months later.
Applause for the winners, but a yellow flag for the Times, as James Taranto says in today's Best of the Web:
How pathetic is it that the Times can't report on these young ladies' accomplishments without using it as an opportunity to take potshots at Larry Summers for failing to adhere to feminist orthodoxy? But since they brought it up, we feel obliged to point out that this in no way disproves anything Summers said. He did not claim that no women succeed in math and science, only that fewer women than men do. That it is newsworthy when girls win a science contest only serves to underscore Summers's point.
This is the sort of coverage liberals call balanced? Taranto, btw, headlines his piece "Endless Summers." Guffaw.

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