From Summers to Sommers

Lest anyone think the academic world has settled into a consensus on the status of women in the sciences during the two years since a very public controversy thrust the issue onto the national stage, Christina Hoff Sommers all but ensured vigorous debate on Monday.

In picking the lineup for a conference called, appropriately enough, “Women and Science,” the philosophy professor, ethicist and critic of modern feminism managed to highlight just what differences persist among mainstream, respected researchers — and expose complex (and occasionally contentious) debates over nature versus nurture, the role of culture versus biology, the persistence of stereotypes and whether innate differences between the sexes really matter.

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