Academia Rejects Diversity?
Academia? Reject diversity? Surely not! Let's look:
[N]ew research . . . shows that academia has itself stopped short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity - the diversity of ideas - and that the problem is taking a toll on the quality and accuracy of scholarly work. This year, a team of scholars from six universities studying ideological diversity in the behavioral sciences published a paper in the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences that details a shocking level of political groupthink in academia. The authors show that for every politically conservative social psychologist in academia there are about 14 liberal social psychologists.Who's telling us this? Arthur C. Brooks? The opinionated columnist who works for the American Enterprise Institute? Ah, a conservative. He's obviously biased, so ignore what he says, even if he is publishing this article, "Academia's Rejection of Diversity," in the New York Times (November 2, 2015).
Why the imbalance? The researchers found evidence of discrimination and hostility within academia toward conservative researchers and their viewpoints. In one survey cited, 82 percent of social psychologists admitted they would be less likely to support hiring a conservative colleague than a liberal scholar with equivalent qualifications.
This has consequences well beyond fairness. It damages accuracy and quality. As the authors write, "Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking."
Remember: Diversity in all but ideas! (Because ideas are dangerous.)