N.Y. Times twisting science for sexism

Here is a guest post from Terry Moon:

John Tierney wrote a disingenuous article in the “Science Times” section of the Feb. 8 New York Times, “Social Scientist Sees Bias Within,” where he claimed that “assumption that female scientists faced discrimination and various forms of unconscious bias” has been “repeatedly contradicted,” citing the recent study by Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, “Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science.” First, discrimination against women in science has also been repeatedly proven, something Tierney neglects to mention. The study by Ceci and Williams was not a defense of Larry Summers’ ridiculous unproven thesis that men were better at science than women, or more men preferred science careers than women. On the contrary, they argue that when looked at across the whole population formal discrimination is not as significant as it once was, but discrimination still remains. They advocated shifting the resources from battling formal discrimination to the problem of the dearth of women role models in science careers, and they cite work/family balance problems that discourage women from certain types of careers.

This kind of twisting of science is quite out of place in “Science Timesand in an article that pretends to be discussing the distortion of science to suit one’s values. Rather than a critique of that practice, Tierney’s article is an example of it.

–Terry Moon

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