Science

Discussion in 'Political Action Forum' started by KENNEDY63, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. KENNEDY63

    KENNEDY63 Elite Refuge Member

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    Is it any wonder that trust in "science" is plummeting?

    As an aside - Heather MacDonald writes some good ****.

    The NIH’s Diversity Obsession Subverts Science
    A project to understand the brain becomes a futile effort to make up for educational disparities.


    By Heather Mac Donald
    June 30, 2021 6:06 pm ET

    The National Institutes of Health supports a multidisciplinary neuroscience initiative to expand understanding of the brain. Research applications include treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and depression. On June 10, NIH director Francis Collins announced a new requirement for participating in the brain initiative. Neurologists, molecular biologists and nanophysicists seeking NIH funding must now submit a plan showing how they will “enhance diverse perspectives” throughout their research. Scores on the “plan for enhancing diverse perspectives” will inform funding decisions.

    This new requirement is part of Dr. Collins’s continuing effort to atone for what he calls biomedical science’s “stain” of “structural racism.” The NIH already supports more than 60 “diversity and inclusion initiatives,” but those have apparently failed to eradicate NIH’s own “systemic and structural racism.”

    Each “plan for enhancing diverse perspectives” must show how the principal investigator will “empower” individuals from groups “traditionally underrepresented” in biomedical research, such as blacks, the disabled, women and the poor. Institutions are also covered by the diversity mandate. Researchers working on an NIH neuroscience grant should be drawn from institutions that are traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research, including “community-based” organizations.

    Dr. Collins provided no evidence for “structural racism” other than demographic data on NIH’s grant applicants and recipients. Black applicants are “present in far fewer numbers compared with their representation in the US population, 13.4%,” according to Dr. Collins’s announcement. In 2020 black scientists made up 2.3% of the 30,061 funding applications the NIH received. Less than 2% of NIH grants go to black principal investigators.

    To Dr. Collins and his academic peers, such disparities are virtually irrefutable evidence of discrimination, though grant reviewers don’t see an applicant’s race. But the use of population data as a benchmark for assessing institutional racism ignores racial disparities in academic skills, achievement and study practices that the NIH didn’t cause and couldn’t possibly do anything to remedy.

    According to research by the Brookings Institution’s Michael Hansen and Diana Quintero, black high-school students spend a little more than a quarter of the time on homework that Asian students do, and half the time of white students. The average black math score on the SAT in 2020 was 454 on an 800-point scale, compared with 547 for whites and 632 for Asians. The College Board calculates an SAT score that predicts, with 75% certainty, that a college freshman will receive at least a C-plus in his first-year math and English courses. That benchmark SAT score for math is 530. Only 21% of black SAT takers met the math benchmark, and 54% of black SAT takers met neither the math nor the reading benchmark. Someone who can’t muster a C-plus in freshman calculus will be unlikely to graduate with a STEM degree.

    By comparison, 80% of Asian SAT takers and 59% of white SAT takers met the math benchmark. One percent of black SAT takers scored in the 700 to 800 range in math (putting them in the pool from which most cutting-edge researchers will be drawn). Thirty-five percent of Asian SAT takers and 9% of whites scored in the 700 to 800 range on math.

    Educational attainment, particularly in STEM fields, reflects this skills gap. In 2019, 20 blacks nationwide received a doctorate in a neuroscience field—1.9% of all such degrees awarded in the neurosciences. There were three newly minted black Ph.D.s in biophysics (1.7% of the total) and 21 in biochemistry (2.6% of the total). Genetics and genomics departments graduated three black Ph.D.s (2.3% of the total), and molecular-biology departments 14 (2.5% of the total). In electrical engineering, a feeder into nanotechnology, there were 18 black Ph.D.s (1% of the total).

    NIH is determining research priorities to maximize the number of black grant recipients. Black researchers submit comparatively few pure science proposals to the NIH, instead favoring public-health projects. Accordingly, Dr. Collins also announced on June 10 an additional $30 million in grants for addressing the “impact of structural racism and discrimination on minority health” and another $60 million for projects “aimed at reducing health disparities.” Such a reallocation of resources is expected to boost NIH’s diversity numbers, whatever its scientific necessity.

    Science isn’t a social-justice endeavor, despite NIH’s determination to “provide full opportunity and participation to individuals and groups underrepresented in neuroscience.” Those groups are underrepresented for reasons unrelated to discrimination by the academy. Science has one purpose: to advance knowledge about the fundamental workings of nature. Any agenda that imposes extraneous criteria will reduce the quality of the talent pool and divert attention away from the generation of new knowledge. China imposes no such deadweight on its cutthroat race for scientific dominance.

    The diversity agenda subverts science in a more fundamental way. The standard argument for what is called “inclusive excellence” is that being black or female affects how one analyzes scientific problems. Skin color even influences the perception of scientific merit. The NIH intends to put more blacks on grant-review panels to increase the number of blacks getting grants.

    But science is a universal language, one that unites its participants in a discourse of reason, transcending the particularities of today’s grievance-inspired identity categories. That universality is science’s beauty and its strength. NIH’s diversity obsession, now pervasive throughout the federal science bureaucracies and in academic STEM departments, is a betrayal of the Enlightenment ideals that have alleviated so much human suffering.

    Ms. Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.”
     
  2. API

    API PAF-CA Flyway Moderator

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    There must be a special category for “hurt butts”.
     
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  3. Grif

    Grif Elite Refuge Member

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    Much of "science" is an industry dependant on grants to keep the "scientists" making a living.

    I get it......but the one constant, throughout history, is that the "science" changes....as it should.

    Just don't try to convince me that the "science" today is the final word....that's been proven time and again to be complete garbage.

    I'm grateful that there are people willing to do the tedious work.....the "hanger on" folks are laughable.....at best.
     
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  4. API

    API PAF-CA Flyway Moderator

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    They are the parasites who have no capability to make anything happen. Political organizations are full of them.
     
  5. Grif

    Grif Elite Refuge Member

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    Yeah, shamefully, there is truth there.

    Science and politics should not be connected. I don't know how you get money for science without politics in these days ....but there HAS to be a separation.

    This is not working.

    You have to be a complete dumbfork to not see that.
     
  6. There.is.no.ST

    There.is.no.ST Senior Refuge Member

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    One of the primary reasons I chose a STEM field for a second career was because science sees only facts - things like skin color, sex, politics, etc are irrelevant.

    Oops, my bad for misunderstanding.

    Hardly a day goes by that something irritating isn't in my school email inbox regarding DEI. Which, by the way, started as "Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion" but the E is now "Equity" and that's a whole different thing.

    Anyway, some of these emails are from the school president, but many are from the department in which my major belongs. They even had some get together where everyone read that idiot book "White Fragility" and then discussed it. Frankly, seeing a bunch of PhD's that are supposed to be scientists fall for this crap is disheartening, to say the least.

    The Wildlife Society, the certifying authority for wildlife biologists, has so joined the fun. They send out hip emails about DEI all the time, as well.

    First off, none of this crap has a basis in science. I actually provided a couple of citations to my major professor that were published in well respected journals that showed the opposite data as far as LE shootings and black people. I don't know if he read them or if they opened his eyes, but at least I showed him the reality and not the liberal narrative.

    This whole "gender identity" crap is also completely unscientific. There are two semesters and if you don't "identify" as your birth sex, you need lots of therapy...not surgery, puberty blockers, and forcing people to accept your mental illness as something of which you should be proud. There's absolutely zero science involved.

    It's frustrating, to say the least. I've become a great deal more relaxed since retiring 17 months ago, but I don't know how well I'll fare in another work environment. I'm a very blunt person and consider it a public service when I tell people how stupid they are. I could get away with that in my last job, but now....maybe not so much. My threshold for tolerating stupidity has grown bit, but considering it was at negative numbers prior to retirement, there's not a lot of wiggle room before I tell someone about themselves. Hell, @Grif had to message me a few months ago to warn me that I was gonna get banned because of my comments towards another poster, lol.
     
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  7. Glades Ranger

    Glades Ranger Elite Refuge Member

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    "Drinking kopi luwak", was the journalist's reply...
     
  8. API

    API PAF-CA Flyway Moderator

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    The Vernier adjustment on the potential butt hurt scale may be subjective depending upon an infinite number of factors.
     
  9. API

    API PAF-CA Flyway Moderator

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    Who will confess to have actually done that?
     
  10. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    Medicine is also taking this on full throttle. Lots of people are going to die (unnoticed and unreported) because of it. Obstetrics is currently a disaster because of this manure. All the flunkies I met in medschool and residency that where there because of this ended up going into “public health.”
     

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