Would You Care if a White Man Cured Covid-19?
Mandatory diversity statements are now ubiquitous in hiring for science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs. An Alzheimer’s researcher seeking a position in a neurology lab must document his contributions to “diversity, equity and inclusion.” At the University of California, Berkeley, the life sciences department rejected 76% of the applications it received last year because they lacked sufficiently effusive diversity, equity and inclusion statements. The hiring committee didn’t even look at the failed applicants’ research records.
Few of Berkeley’s Nobel laureates in medicine, physics and chemistry would be hired today under the diversity, equity and inclusion test. It is hard to imagine that Ernest Lawrence (1901-58), inventor of the cyclotron, would have “provided evidence” of having informed himself about the “personal challenges that URMs face at academic research institutions.” Lawrence would have been too focused on understanding the behavior of nuclear particles.