Appropriate level of contempt for engineering

The continuing Larry Summers debacle has brought forward an old quote from Patti Hausman, a behavioral scientist writing in Science circa 2000, out of the woodwork…

“The question of why more women don’t choose careers in engineering has a rather obvious answer: Because they don’t want to.

“Wherever you go, you will find females far less likely than males to see what is so fascinating about ohms, carburetors, or quarks. . . . Reinventing the curriculum will not make me more interested in learning how my dishwasher works.”

I love that last line [emphasis added].  It summarizes precisely how my hip cool friends regard all MIT nerds.  It must be someone’s job to make sure the tires don’t fall off of their car, just as it must be someone’s job to clean the bathroom, but obviously it couldn’t be the job of anyone important.

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