washingtonpost.com  > Print Edition > Inside the A Section

NATION IN BRIEF

Tuesday, January 18, 2005; Page A18

Harvard Chief Criticized Over Remarks on Women, Science

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.

Speaking Friday at an economic conference, Summers also questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities.

The remarks prompted Massachusetts Institute of Technology biologist Nancy Hopkins -- a Harvard graduate -- to walk out on the talk, the Boston Globe reported.

"It is so upsetting that all these brilliant young women [at Harvard] are being led by a man who views them this way," Hopkins said later.

Summers told the Globe he was discussing hypotheses based on the scholarly work assembled for the conference, not expressing his own views. He also said more research needs to be done on the issues. He said people "would prefer to believe" that differences in performance between the sexes are due to social factors, "but these are things that need to be studied."

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. -- On the same day the nation honored the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the first black leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was installed as archbishop in King's native city.

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, a Chicago native, became Atlanta's sixth archbishop and its third black archbishop. Gregory, 57, said he chose the King holiday for his installation as a tribute to the slain civil rights leader.

MADISON, Wis. -- College freshman Meng-Ju Wu, who was charged with killing three men in their sleep over a gambling dispute, hanged himself from a sprinkler head in his jail cell the day before his trial was to begin, authorities said. Wu, 20, was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the shootings of Jason McGuigan, 28, Dustin Wilson, 17, and Daniel Swanson, 25.

JERSEY CITY -- A funeral for an Egyptian Christian couple and their two daughters slain last week devolved into a melee after the services, with mourners shoving and punching each other as many blamed Muslims for the killings. Investigators are looking into the possibility that Hossam Armanious, 47, his wife, Amal Garas, 37, and their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were slain by a Muslim angered over postings that the father wrote in an Internet chat room.

LAS VEGAS -- Weatherman Rob Blair was fired by KTNV-TV after using a racial slur on the air to refer to slain civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr.

PARK CITY, Utah -- Authorities said they believe Shane Maixner, 27, of Sandpoint, Idaho, was the lone victim of a recent avalanche. In Mullan, Idaho, snowboarders Brian Brett, 24, of Bellingham, Wash., and Pete Tripp, 23, of Bend, Ore., were killed in an avalanche Sunday.

CLAYTON, Mo. -- A man who killed the 6-year-old daughter of an acquaintance after she resisted his attempts to rape her was convicted of murder. Johnny Johnson admitted he kidnapped Cassandra Williamson, then crushed the child's head with bricks and rocks after she struggled against him.

-- From News Services


© 2005 The Washington Post Company