“It has been painful to witness the end of a programme in which we invested so much of our energy and creativity, a programme that was praised by students and external examiners, that featured innovative modules and assessments, that defied being classified as either European or analytic, that was for the larger part run by two women, neither of whom identify as ‘Wh..
Flying around social media yesterday were cheers that Oxford University had issued a “Statement on the Importance of Free Speech” in response to a motion from the Oxford Student Union allegedly to “ban ‘ableist, classist and misogynist’ reading lists”. (more…)
A new study of nearly 800 academic philosophers provides support for several claims about their political views, perceptions of politics-based hostility, and willingness to engage in politics-based discrimination. (more…)
“There are many potentially excellent philosophers from nonelite schools who are missing terrific educational and career opportunities because students from elite schools have such a large competitive advantage.”
George Yancey, a professor of sociology at the University of North Texas who works on anti-Christian attitudes in the United States, has researched bias in academia, and recently shared some information he had collected regarding philosophers’ hiring preferences. (more…)
Some common criticisms of implicit bias are mistaken, argue John Doris (Washington Univ., St. Louis), Laura Niemi (Duke), and Keith Payne (UNC Chapel Hill) in a recent column at Scientific American. (more…)
“Do academic journals favor authors who share their institutional affiliation?” That’s the central question of a recent study, which finds evidence that suggests the answer is “yes.” (more…)
The following is a guest post* by Lisa Herzog, assistant professor or political philosophy and theory at the School of Public Policy at the Technical University of Munich (Technische Universität München). It originally appeared at the group blog, Justice Everywhere.
Recently, mainstream philosophy journals have tended to implement more and more stringent forms of peer review (e.g., from double-anonymous to triple-anonymous), probably in an attempt to prevent editorial decisions that are based on factors other than quality. Against this trend, we propose that journals should relax their standards of acceptance, as well as be les..
In November of 2014, Marquette University Associate Professor of Political Science John McAdams made a philosophy graduate student at his school the target of a politically-motivated smear campaign. In February of 2015, the university sought his dismissal. (It was not the first time he he had run into trouble for engaging in harassing behavior towards students.) In ..
Part of what’s behind the disagreements over freedom and security in academia that we’ve been seeing a lot of lately (over things like political correctness, trigger warnings, safe spaces, etc.) are two different attitudes. (more…)
Towards the end of an in-depth and highlyy informative interview with Marya Schechtman (UIC) about the philosophy of personal identity, interviewer Richard Marshall asks her about “difficulties for women in the academy” and whether there’s “something weird going on in philosophy departments that is avoided elsewhere.” Schechtman’s answer includes the following intri..
In this paper, I argue that prestige bias is both the first and the final hurdle to make academic philosophy more inclusive…. Prestige bias is a first hurdle to diversity, because countering it provides a wide-reaching way to make philosophy more diverse even if we did not increase our efforts to increase diversity specifically. By actively working against presti..
The philosophy profession in the United States is overwhelmingly male and white. What explains this? In an essay in The Los Angeles Times, Myisha Cherry (UI Chicago) and Eric Schwitzgebel (UC Riverside) offer an explanation:
One of the main causes of homogeneity in philosophy, we believe, is subjectivity and bias in the evaluation of philosophical quality.
Under ancient Jewish law, if a suspect on trial was unanimously found guilty by all judges, then the suspect was acquitted. This reasoning sounds counterintuitive, but the legislators of the time had noticed that unanimous agreement often indicates the presence of systemic error in the judicial process, even if the exact nature of the error is yet to be discovered. ..
A philosophy professor has written in with some questions about anonymous or “blind” grading, in which the identity of the student whose work is being assessed is not known to the grader. The majority opinion in philosophy appears to be that there are strong moral reasons in support of anonymous grading. Yet, there are questions about evidence for it, as well as abo..
Welcome back to Ought Experiment! This week’s question is a sensitive one, indeed. A professor writes that s/he’s struggling to reach a grad student who apparently interprets any criticism of her work as evidence of gender discrimination:
I’m hoping you can help me with a tricky teaching situation. There’s a student in my department who has, in the..
In a recent paper, a group of social psychologists—Jonathan Haidt (NYU), José L. Duarte (ASU), Jarret T. Crawford (College of New Jersey), Charlotta Stern (Stockholm), Lee Jussim (Rutgers ), and Philip E. Tetlock (UPenn)—argue that political diversity is lacking in academic psychology and that
this lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of so..
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a study in 2011 that showed patterns of racial bias in its awarding of funding. In response, it created a contest for suggestions about how to detect and combat the bias. The contest concluded recently, and first prize ($10,000) for “Most Creative Idea” for “New Methods to Detect Bias in Peer Review” went to a team c..
And only two of them are employed in philosophy departments, according to UCL philosopher Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, writing in the The Times Higher Education Supplement on bias, stereotype threat, and philosophy’s general neglect of the issue of race.
UPDATE (3/20/2014): Here is the audio from “Why Isn’t My Professor Black?”, a panel discussion on March 10th a..