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Shattering Stereotypes of Rocket Scientists

December 19, 1991

I read Greg Beckmann's article on rocket scientists ("The Bright Stuff?") on Dec. 6 with some amusement.

But there is a serious side. Stereotyping people always hurts. I am surprised at how fast people who would never use a racial epithet will call another person a disparaging name like nerd and shun them socially--and for no other reason than that the other person works at a technical job.

If the car salesman had refused to sell Lawrence Ross a car because Ross was a member of a politically acceptable minority instead of because Ross was an engineer, would The Times have found the incident so funny? Perhaps there is some truth in some stereotypes, but I would be very careful before I put in print a stereotype such as that all engineers lack human feelings or that all newspaper writers are technically illiterate.

EDWARD RUTH

Whittier

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