Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz did not, alas, win a Grammy

for his liner notes for the Bob Dylan album (U.S. 1, February 9). On

February 13 that honor went, for the second year in a row, to

jazz-history insider Loren Schoenberg, the executive director of the

as yet-unbuilt Jazz Museum in Harlem, for a Mosaic Records CD of Woody

Herman and His Orchestra & Woodchoppers.

Letters to the Editor

I enjoyed Richard K. Rein’s column (February 9) on how the recent

sexist remarks by the president of Harvard inspired him to examine

whether or not there are "innate " gender differences by looking at

how things are done in your own office. I can certainly agree that

there may be a difference in the way a man or a woman may handle a

specific task, and this may have as much to do with socialization as

with the fact that women and men seem to access different parts of the

brain to process the same information.

However, the remarks by the president of Harvard took some plausible

sociological/environmental theories too far. He implied that the

"innate" differences in the genders included aptitude. This is where

he should have known better – where he crossed the line. It is

ludicrous that a man of his education and world experience would

postulate such a theory, that women, as a group, have less aptitude

for science and math. This is as ridiculous as the theory that was

once widely accepted – that because women’s brains generally weighed

less, they were naturally less intelligent. Plenty of people have lost

careers because of discriminatory generalizations such as this. Doing

things differently does not translate into a difference in

intelligence or potential ability – something one would think that the

head of such a prestigious university has the innate ability to

understand.

Noreen Braman

RFB&D, 20 Roszel Road

Thank you for including me in your "Women in Business" feature; I am

honored to be in such accomplished company. I would like to clarify a

point or two, though, as I fear the paraphrasing of what I said about

women not often having the right combination of technology and finance

expertise necessary to enter the world of venture capital might be

misconstrued. I want to make it clear that women can be — and are —

very successful in my field. I believe that a comparatively small

number of females attempt it primarily because of the many potential

personal sacrifices required to make a successful go of it.

Let me also correct some factual miscues. My first promotion at 3Com

came 18 months into my tenure there, not three months. My husband’s

PhD from Stanford is in aerospace engineering, and he is an assistant

professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering in

the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Princeton

University. And finally, the Battelle Ventures team photo does not

include Ralph Taylor-Smith, who joined our firm in 2004 as a senior

associate.

Kef Kasdin

Battelle Ventures

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