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Margaret Geller: Battling Discrimination or Bureaucracy?

Science  12 Nov 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5443, pp. 1277
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5443.1277

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In May 1997, astronomer Margaret Geller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics was offered a Mallinckrodt chair--an honor traditionally reserved for outstanding tenured scholars at the university. But when she learned that Harvard tenure did not come with the chair, she declined to accept it, and two years later, she and Harvard remain locked in an increasingly acrimonious battle over her status. Geller argues that her lack of tenure is a result of ill-concealed sex discrimination. But university administrators argue that the true stumbling block is a bureaucratic one, which they are working in good faith to remove.