It’s elementary my dear Hopkins, his job was to provoke discussion!

When Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist Nancy Hopkins, an attendee at a “two-day, invitation-only conference of the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research,” walked out during the comments of Harvard President Larry Summers because, according to Hopkins, “this kind of bias makes me physically ill,” she testified as to the success of what Summers had been asked to do by the conference organizers, “to be provocative.” At the time Hopkins walked out Summers was discussing “Hypotheses based on the scholarly work that had been assembled for the conference” and “had cited research showing that more high school boys than girls tend to score at very high and very low levels on standardized math tests, and that it was important to consider the possibility that such differences may stem from biological differences between the sexes.” Hum, on second thought, maybe her actions illustrate more than Summers ability to provoke.

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