The Journal Editorial Report | February 18, 2005 | PBS
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Briefing and Opinion
February 18, 2005

War of Words
Students protest the decision of Hamilton College officials against activist professor Ward Churchill.
Students protest the decision of college officials against activist professor Ward Churchill.

Harvard president Lawrence Summers is in trouble with the academic community for his remarks at a closed-door academic conference regarding "intrinsic" differences between the sexes. Summers has been on the defensive in recent weeks, emphasising Harvard's commitment to promoting the "crucial objective of diversity." Responding to media pressure, Summers has released the full transcript of his remarks here.

Lawrence Summers

"In the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination."

-- Lawrence Summers

Letters from President Summers on women and sciences
Lawrence Summers Bio

Ward Churchill, longtime outspoken activist and Ethnic Studies professor, was uninvited to his scheduled speaking engagement at Hamilton College graduation, after the campus paper unearthed an essay by Churchill regarding September 11th. The essay contained passages in which he referred to the World Trade Center victims as "legitimate targets." Churchill has refused to back down or apologize for his remarks, but resigned his post as department chair at the University of Colorado.

"As to those in the World Trade Center: Well, really. Let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire--the 'mighty engine of profit' to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved -- and they did so both willingly and knowingly."

-- Ward Churchill

"Some People Push Back" -- On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
Churchill Statement
Churchill Bio

Columbia University

Columbia University president Lee Bollinger has formed a committee to investigate accusations of verbal abuse by professors regarding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Students have accused Columbia of creating a "hostile environment" for students and faculty who oppose the dominating anti-israeli sentiment at the university.