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January 17, 2005

Reporters interview incoming chancellor following Harvard president's comments

By Jim Burns

Chancellor Designate Denice Denton found herself in the eye of an international media storm early this week after Harvard University's president made controversial comments at an academic conference about the underrepresentation of women in math and science fields.

UCSC Chancellor Designate Denice D. Denton spoke to numerous news organizations about the Harvard president's comments. Photos: Kathy Saube, University of Washington

Denton, who was presenting at the conference on Friday, has been asked by numerous news organizations to offer her views of the comments made by Lawrence Summers.

The Harvard president sparked an uproar when he said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. According to a Boston Globe article on the controversy, Summers also questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the underrepresentation of female professors in science and engineering at elite universities.

"Here was this economist lecturing pompously [to] this room full of the country's most accomplished scholars on women's issues in science and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first half of the day," Denton said in the Globe article.

Denton is coming to UCSC from the University of Washington, where she is dean of the College of Engineering.

Following the Boston Globe's coverage of the Harvard president's comments, the incoming chancellor was also interviewed by the New York Times, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, National Public Radio (NPR), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The following links provide some of the coverage:

Summers' remarks on women draw fire (Boston Globe)
Harvard chief defends his talk on women ( New York Times)

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