Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Discrimination against women in science

New York Times resident bloviator John Tierney figures he'll have some fun at the expense of the National Academy of Sciences and Donna Shalala, who chaired their committee on discrimination against women in science and engineering. (Times Select link)
I’ve slogged through enough reports from the National Academy of Sciences to know they’re often not shining examples of the scientific method. But — call me na├»ve — I never thought the academy was cynical enough to publish a political tract like “Beyond Bias and Barriers,” the new report on discrimination against female scientists and engineers.
The actual reportisn't so funny.
For 30 years, the report says, women have earned at least 30 percent of the nation’s doctorates in social and behavioral sciences, and at least 20 percent of the doctorates in life sciences. Yet they appear among full professors in those fields at less than half those levels.
Tierney tries to obscure this reality by summoning prejudice, distortion and a biased selection of anecdotal evidence. Like Larry Summers at Harvard before him, he thinks women are just not interested in science and engineering.
“Wherever you go, you will find females far less likely than males to see what is so fascinating about ohms, carburetors or quarks,” Hausman said. “Reinventing the curriculum will not make me more interested in learning how my dishwasher works.”
Think of the enormous effort that goes into acquiring a doctorate in the hard sciences. So, more than half of these women are really not interested, or just lose interest before getting a faculty job after all that study? Yeah, right.

1 comment:

SeanPatrick said...

Feminists showed a great response at Summers's January 2005 speech. Some walked out. Some broke into tears over Summers’s oppressive suggestion. Some asked for his resignation. Could not Summers see, argued even others, that some issues are beyond the pale of discussion? Reasonable minded people see the feminist reaction to Summers's speech as incredibly immature. But, reasonable minded people would be wrong. Can they not see that part of the oppression of women is the suggestion that women and men could be different?

I believe that if mankind is ever to awake from its patriarchal disease, then each person must come to grips with his oppression of the fairer sex. Man must move quickly to remove any and all potential or perceived traits of sexism he still has. We must create a world where no person will look at his surroundings through a sexist lens. Man must fight to stamp out any and all suggestion of gender differences any place he sees it. Any professor who suggests that boys are more interested in sports than girls must see his tenure revoked. Any thinker who suggests that males prefer action movies and females prefer romantic films should lose his credibility. Any person who suggests that females are more naturally inclined to be nurturers and males more naturally inclined to be warriors must have his sensitivity questioned. Any social scientist who suggests that heterosexuality is normative (even if he grants homosexuals their rights) ought to have pen, typewriter, or computer confiscated. Man cannot rest until he creates a gender inclusive and gender neutral world for all mankind.