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Men are falling behind in higher ed, top scientist claims
Lawrence Krauss

‘We may be moving towards a future in which women will be significantly better educated than men,’ physicist Lawrence Krauss said

Due in part to university affirmative action and DEI, women outpace men in many parts of academia.

“In a desire to include women and minorities, white males are often excluded, and too often women and members of minority groups are tokenized by being promoted primarily for their gender or skin color,” physicist Lawrence Krauss wrote Monday in Quillette in an op-ed titled “Academia’s Missing Men.”

Krauss (pictured) referred to the dominance of women in advertising and journal photos promoting academic careers in science, calling out “tokenism” in “almost any online photo promoting science.”

“Tokenism” refers to “the practice of making only a symbolic effort,” according to Merriam-Webster. This “effort” is usually made in place of helping a group of people in a lasting way.

For example, a recent issue of Science magazine “seems to feel the need to present a patronizing advertising image, featuring three women and two men of color.”

Krauss also cites the dominance of women in academic jobs beyond the merely symbolic.

“Six of the eight Ivy League universities—Harvard, Brown, Penn, Cornell, Dartmouth, and Columbia—now have female presidents, as do UC Berkeley and MIT,” Krauss wrote.

For MIT, “despite comprising many traditionally male-dominated STEM disciplines, its upper management team is largely female,” Krauss continued. “The head of the MIT Corporation, the President, the Director of Research, the Provost, the Chancellor, and the Dean of Science are all women. The Institute’s core discipline, the School of Engineering, consists of eight departments, five of which are led by women.”

“This is clearly not a coincidence, nor is it likely, given the demographics of the place, that this is simply the result of choosing the best people for those jobs,” Krauss continued.

Even “before DEI initiatives reached current heights” in 2015, “a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed a two to one preference for female candidates for tenure track positions in STEM,” Krauss wrote.

“Contrary to prevailing assumptions, men and women faculty members from all four fields preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles (single, married, divorced), with the exception of male economists, who showed no gender preference,” according to the paper’s “significance” summary.

“Our findings, supported by real-world academic hiring data, suggest advantages for women launching academic science careers,” the study authors continued.

Krauss also wrote that women now outperform men in receiving doctoral degrees generally.

“We may be moving towards a future in which women will be significantly better educated than men and will occupy far more of the jobs that require professional qualifications and skills,” Krauss continued.

In an exclusive interview with The College Fix last year, Krauss outlined his criticism of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives more broadly.

In an environment where criticizing DEI or expressing support for free speech or merit can lead to public backlash, Krauss said he can see how his colleagues who agree with him might want to keep their mouths shut, “because the reaction is so vicious,” The Fix reported.

“I have written many articles about the absolutely ludicrous ways in which DEI is … enforcing ridiculous notions about both keeping people out of physics who should be in, and trying to interfere with meritocracy and interfere [with] and take over the appointment process so that merit isn’t the crucial factor,” Krauss told The Fix.

MORE: Professor: The ‘science’ benefits from ‘gender-inclusive classrooms’

IMAGE: Talks at Google/YouTube

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