University Provost Thomas Rosenbaum released a statement yesterday addressing comments that professor Dario Maestripieri made about women during the Conference of the Society of Neuroscience in New Orleans on his personal Facebook page last week.
“The University does not speak for individual faculty members, and will not take a position on the opinions expressed by our faculty. At the same time, faculty members do not speak for the University. The University has had from its founding a commitment to free and open inquiry, which requires that we welcome the broadest range of perspectives. We are dedicated to creating an environment that supports the best scholarship possible, and women are essential members of this academic community," Rosenbaum said in the statement, which was posted yesterday on the University news Web site. The statement also outlined significant steps that the University has taken to support female faculty members.
On Sunday, Maestripieri posted "My impression of the Conference of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually high concentration of unattractive women. The super model types are completely absent. What is going on? Are unattractive women particularly attracted to neuroscience? Are beautiful women particularly uninterested in the brain? No offense to anyone..."
The comment immediately was rehashed on science blogs and news Web sites.