Yesterday I talked about the Trump Administration’s decision to cancel federal training sessions on Critical Race Theory. Heather MacDonald argues that this first step should be followed by “removing identity politics from federal operations” in the sciences. The goal is to create a more “diverse” scientific workforce.
Those of us who took undergraduate courses in math and science already felt that the scientific landscape was fairly diverse because we were taking courses taught by TAs from other countries whose first language was not English. Often the challenge was not the scientific concepts but merely trying to understand them.
Unfortunately, the federal science bureaucracies are not talking about that kind of diversity. They want more diversity of minorities and women. But it doesn’t stop there. The NIH, for example, “would fund student researchers who were or had been homeless, who were or had been in foster care, who had been eligible for free school lunches, or who had received WIC payments as a child or mother.” The first time I heard Heather MacDonald talk about this on another radio program, the radio interviewer asked what having been homeless has to do with doing scientific research.
The National Science Foundation is doling out millions of dollars for a program to combat bias in the STEM fields. Heather MacDonald argues that the problem is the academic skills gap.
The average black math SAT score is more than a standard deviation below the average Asian math score and nearly a standard deviation below the average white score. The ultimate solution is to do better STEM teaching in the public schools, not trying to implement “woke science.”