Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Dershowitz on Summers

H/T to the Belmont Club.

From the Boston Globe.

As critics of Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers step up pressure for him to resign or radically alter the way he leads the university, a few professors have begun rallying to his defense.

Late yesterday, one of Harvard's most famous faculty members, law professor Alan Dershowitz, issued a statement backing Summers's presidency, in which he said the storm of opposition "sounds like the trial of Galileo."

"In my 41 years at Harvard, I have never experienced a president more open to debate, disagreement, and dialogue than Larry Summers," wrote Dershowitz, adding that "professors who are afraid to challenge him are guilty of cowardice."

Dershowitz noted that he disagreed with Summers's comments last month that innate differences might help explain why more men than women are top achievers in science and math, but he defended the university president's right to raise the proposition.

"This is truly a time of crisis for Harvard," he wrote. "The crisis is over whether a politically correct straightjacket will be placed over the thinking of everybody in this institution by one segment of the faculty."

I rarely agree with Alan Dershowitz, but the professor seems to have hit the nail on the head this time. Kudos to Professor Dershowitz.