1 good thing to come from McInnes rant… awareness that white liberal nerds are most of science :( #NERD

McInnes said, “I hate this guy (Tyson)… White liberal nerds love this guy so much, he could defecate on them like Martin Bashir’s fantasies and they would dance in the streets.”

This gross rant about Neil deGrasse Tyson that I posted about yesterday can be used in a positive light to bring awareness to the fact that he was right… not about Neil deGrasse Tyson, or the defecation part, but that sometimes it seems that lots of liberal white nerds love Tyson. And this is likely because the majority of people in science and academia are white liberal nerds (but he forgot to mention male). I have posted a number of times about how important the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives are for attracting more minorities and women to these fields, and this rant is further proof of that. Unknown to McInnes, his insults highlight a major problem with the scientific system… who would have thought?

This is the perfect post to draw attention to a great article in Science by Jeffrey Mervis that focuses on the lack of minorities (particularly blacks and hispanics) in academic fields that are heavy in math… and science. The article uses the lens of the amazing job Richard Tapia has done to train minorities in science, and bring to light his frustration with continued lack of diversity in academic hiring.

“Pedigree is alive and well,” Tapia asserts. “So if minority students earn their degrees at minority-serving institutions, they won’t get hired by Stanford.”

Tapia himself doesn’t lay all blame for the status quo on the academic establishment. “In the 1960s you couldn’t say that culture played a role because everything was about the ‘system,’” he explains. “But today African-Americans and Mexican-Americans have to question certain parts of our culture.

Hopefully we can learn something important from Gavin McInnes, that the culture of science and STEM fields DOES have a feeling of being all liberal white male nerds. Hopefully the amazing work of people like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Tapia will change that feeling and reality soon!

Political debate of NSF funding highlights political distrust of science and scientists (to score political points… ugh)

Image

Jeffrey Mervis writes in Science this week about the political debate surrounding National Science Foundation (NSF) funding. More importantly, he highlights that the views of science in the government have much broader implications on science funding and policy. Unfortunately, the views of science in the government don’t look too promising.