Costly free speech 1

April 22, 2005

I don't demur at Alison Wolf's defence of free speech but I'd add two things (Opinion, April 15). The first is that in a country that decided that Negroes were biologically intended for slavery, and that the Irish, Jews and Eastern Europeans were congenitally dim-witted, I'd be twitchy about anyone suggesting that unequal success in any field was biologically determined. The second is that if I were as distinguished a molecular biologist as the president of Princeton University, I'd be irritated at an economist suggesting that women have the wrong kind of brain for serious intellectual inquiry.

Alan Ryan
New College, Oxford

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