I believe that Asians appear to excel intellectually over others, and I think it is nature, as well as nurture. At Stuyvesant High School, one of our city’s elite schools, requiring entrance exams, Asian students comprise 50.7 percent of the student body. Asian students are also 46.5 percent of the student body at the Bronx High School of Science, also an elite school. The aggregate percentage of Asians attending New York City high schools is 14.1 percent. This year, of the thirteen New York finalists for the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, America’s oldest pre-college science competition for high school seniors, six are Asian students. In prior years, the Asian component has been similarly high. Nature or nurture? Probably both.
The question raised by Summers is: Why are there variances between men and women? Even if Summers’s hypotheses are found to be wrong after appropriate research, should he be silenced for suggesting the exploration? Clearly, an effort is being made to bring him to his knees and make him grovel, perhaps even force his resignations from his exalted position. The ongoing effort has been partially successful. He has now apologized several times, and promised to change his personality.
How sad it is that a great mind – Summers is reputed to have one – has been devalued and the man himself intimidated. He will never again be candid in public and zealous in pursuit of the truth, and will weigh every word before it leaves his lips, for fear of damaging his career. Summers will never reach the heights of Socrates, totally unafraid to speak whatever he believes to be the truth or whatever needs to be said, knowing there are those who, if they could, would have him partake of the hemlock.
Shame on the presidents of three major institutions, Princeton, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for joining the howling mob with their condemnation of Summers. If, under these circumstances, the president of Harvard can be brought down with The Times leading the pack, everyone is in danger.