Two Dozen Women Professors Drop Science — on Its Head, For Extreme Bias

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A flock of female college professors are exposing the -isms of science.

Last week, I covered the story of University of Michigan teacher Deborah Ball.

Deborah recently appeared on a podcast, during which she lamented that math is “dominated by whiteness and racism.”

In the same spirit, today we learn of substantial scientific sin.

As it turns out, the field is filled with discrimination.

Writing for PLOS (Public Library of Science) Biology, twenty-four lady educators penned “Promoting Inclusive Metrics of Success and Impact to Dismantle a Discriminatory Reward System in Science.”

In the arena of science, the group decries, women are “uniformly less cited than men.”

And why? From the sound of things, it’s an age-old Boys Club issue:

[D]ecisions on whom to cite may also reflect exclusionary scientific networks that coalesce at scholarly meetings and conferences that, despite recent efforts in improving diversity among participants [26–28], primarily cater to established white men from privileged universities.

The assertion, it seems, is that a lack of presence proves the presence of prejudice:

[I]n comparison to men, women receive more manuscript rejections, are less likely to be published in prestigious journals (which typically have high citation rates), and are less likely to be invited to write commentaries.

Is unfairness afoot?

These issues may stem from women’s scholarly writing being held to a higher standard than men’s by editors and peer reviewers…

Such a system places “penalties on women’s productivity,” the essay observes, “with excessive time spent reworking old research at the cost of conducting new research,

The professors — from schools in America, Canada, the UK, and Australia…plus one from Finland — believe there may be bias:

Sex-specific differences in manuscript decisions may also arise from conscious and unconscious biases that can impact reviewer assignment and peer review scores.

As of late, we’ve been informed that many areas of study are rife with wretchedness:

Science Journal Decries Racism in Geology, Claims Black People Are Too Scared to Hold Hammers

Eating Itself: Woke University Condemns Darwin for White Supremacy

Department of Education Fights the White Supremacy of Math

Per the PLOS paper, there’s more than just sexism affecting science; there’s also genderism:

We also would like to acknowledge that biases experienced by women are likely to be exacerbated for nonbinary individuals, and, so far, little attention has been given to the effects on these groups.

As if that weren’t enough, racism raises its ugly head:

Pervasive racism in science also drives substantial and systemic biases in publication rates, citation rates, and editorial positions.

Nonwhites get nudged aside:

Pervasive racism in science also drives substantial and systemic biases in publication rates, citation rates, and editorial positions.

The article calls it “citational segregation” — “where authors prefer citing authors from the same racial/ethnic group(s)—has been demonstrated with white authors citing other white authors more frequently.”

Beyond that, the crew contends, language is another area of intolerance.

Ninety-eight percent of science journals are in English, the academics observe.

Therefore, “success is related to English proficiency or access to additional editorial support.” Those who don’t speak it are at a subsequent “disadvantage.”

In short, undeserved credit has been heaped onto white males:

[G]ender, racial, and other biases interact and accumulate, often elevating cisgender white males to much higher status than deserved given their contributions to science.

So how do we fix a system that punishes Americans for speaking the wrong American language or having the wrong gender identity or being born in the wrong skin?

As recommended by the report, science must value “the impact of multidimensional mentorship — with can promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion…”

On the docket: “a more inclusive culture, specific strategies are also needed to change the systemic sexism and racism that pervade institutions.”

From all of this, a grand question results.

If you separate everyone into identity groups, and then if you determine not every group does something equally as well…does that automatically denote a devilish design?

Is bigotry baked in?

The idea isn’t wholly unrelated to our contemporary emphasis on equity, which comes partly due to a turn from meritocracy:

College Schools Students and Staff on Microaggressions’ ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’ and the ‘Myth of Meritocracy’

Stanford’s New Research Lab Calls out Causes of America’s ‘Racial Hierarchy’: Public Education and Ostensible Meritocracy

Of course, once upon a time, a Boys Club did relegate women.

And if it’s still occurring in science, it must be stopped.

The same applies to racism.

But if white American males are so insufferable that they’re suffocating all sorts with such pernicious piles of prejudice in 2021, I’m not sure such a problem can be fixed — though I’m sure we’ll continue to try.

Here’s to hoping science’s sordidness gets soon settled.

Then we can move slightly to another bigoted mess to make right — in the scientific veterinary world:

In the name of healing, onward and upward.

-ALEX

See more pieces from me:

Seminary Student Refuses to Take Segregated ‘Antiracism’ Training to ‘Grapple’ With His ‘Whiteness’

Scholars Insist Preschoolers Must Be Taught ‘Antiracism’ ‘Throughout the Day’

Find all my RedState work here.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.

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