Diworsification is now reaching the parts other SJW trends do not reach: Engineering, Science and Technology. As proof I present the editorial from Nature this week saying that “Science benefits from diversity“. This editorial is full of derp and lacking in actual science, but it is, however, educational.

Now, let me be clear here (in my best Obama tone), I’m not in any way stating that Science should be a white, male, cisnormative heterosexual only activity. In fact it isn’t, hasn’t been since about the mid 19th century, and no one, least of all me, regrets that. There are famous lady scientists (Marie Curie), there are famous non-white ones (the mathematician Ramanjuan) and you just have to walk into a university lab today to see that it is filled with people from all sorts of backgrounds [I can’t offhand think of a famous transgender scientist unless you count economics as a science, in which case Deirdre McCloskey would certainly count, but that may just be me].

In other words science is already diverse and there seem to be no signs of anyone trying to stop this. Thus the first paragraph of the editorial is self evident (and self evidently containing dangerous levels SJW jargon):

Lab groups, departments, universities and national funders should encourage participation in science from as many sectors of the population as possible. It’s the right thing to do — both morally and to help build a sustainable future for research that truly represents society.

However the next paragraph is silly

A more representative workforce is more likely to pursue questions and problems that go beyond the narrow slice of humanity that much of science (biomedical science in particular) is currently set up to serve. Widening the focus is essential if publicly funded research is to protect and preserve its mandate to work to improve society. For example, a high proportion of the research that comes out of the Western world uses tissue and blood from white individuals to screen drugs and therapies for a diverse population. Yet it is well known that people from different ethnic groups can have different susceptibility to some diseases.

First of all just about every biomedical researcher is aware of the impact different genes have on any number of diseases. The widespread use of genetic testing to identify particular genes in populations is making this ever clearer. You just have to scan a few biogenetics blogs to find posts like this from Greg Cochran or this from Razib Khan (note non-white). Second providing one’s tissue, DNA etc. is not the same as being a scientist and using it and thirdly three of the biggest disease pushes in the last quarter century or so have been breast cancer (women), HIV (gays and non-whites, mostly Africans) and Ebola (Africans). On the other hand if you want scientific/medical racism you might recall that the other big killer of brown people, Malaria, was not eradicated due to some dodgy science by a white lady regarding DDT.

Finally, apart from biomedical science, I’m finding it hard to find a flavor of science that is actually serving just the usual suspects i.e. white, male etc. Discoveries in astronomy, physics, mathematics, chemistry, geology etc. seem to be equally beneficial to everyone. The rest of the editorial (go read it if you want to lose brain cells) is equally full of politically correct guff. About the only section with a sensible call to action is this:

Even the wording of job advertisements can put people off — candidates from some backgrounds might be less likely to consider themselves ‘outstanding’ or ‘excellent’, and so might not even apply. Yet diversity efforts should not stop when people are through the door. To retain is as important as to recruit — mentoring and support is essential for all young scientists, and especially so for those who have been marginalized by academic culture.

and even that has its issues. For example it is well known that postdocs and PhD students frequently work crazy long hours for little or no pay and this is something that people from less wealthy backgrounds struggle with. It is something that women who want to have children particularly struggle with. Fixing these issues is primarily a matter of money, but the pot of money available for government funded science (which Nature earlier in the article hints is the only sort that counts) is limited. One way to fix it would be to throw lots more tax money at “science” but the question is where does that come from? and one suspects that voters/taxpayers would not be terribly happy with the possible answers. Another would be to reduce drastically the number of scientists. If we, say, halved the number of PhD and postdoc places then each survivor would get double the money. Given that most scientific research is bunk, it seems likely that a cross the board cut would work, but given that some parts of academia (coff sociology coff climate science coff) seem to be particularly full of junk science another alternative would be to simply cut government funding in those areas entirely. Something tells me that the howls of outrage from Nature if this happened would be Schadenbonerlicious.

The article also attempts to justify diversity because it “a team with a good mix of perspectives is associated with increased productivity”. This is undoubtedly true but to as the unfortunate diversity lady from Apple pointed out: “there can be 12 white, blue-eyed, blonde men in a room and they’re going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation.” The effective way to get solid results is “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” and for that to happen the key is for the members of the group to have a diversity of viewpoints, not a diversity of skin-colors or genders who all share the same viewpoint.

One of the things to note about this Nature editorial is how it doesn’t mention certain things. Allow me to mention them. What Nature is trying to hint, but not say explicitly, is that certain ethnicities – Africans (and African descended immigrants), Latin/native Americans, Aboriginals, Pacific Islanders and Arabs – show up a lot less in scientific settings than do Europeans, Jews, Indians (dot not feather) and East Asians (Japanese/Chinese/Korea). While I think that some of the justifications presented for “diversity” are bovine derived fertilizer, if the more scientific ethnicities are depriving the others of their spots due to racism or unfounded prejudice then that would be wrong and it would be worth fixing.

However that is not the only reason why there might be such a divergence. Two other alternatives spring to mind. Firstly for cultural reasons the less well-represented ethnicities might simply not respect “science” and thus their children may simply not want to become scientists and prefer instead to become something else. To put it another way they may see greater benefits from doing something else other than science. Given that “academic, government funded science” tends not to pay enormously well and requires lots of 60+ hour weeks this is, arguably, a rational choice. Secondly the less well-represented ethnicities might not have enough members with the right characteristics to be successful scientists.

In fact these two alternatives do both have some merit. To take the more controversial one first. There is considerable and growing evidence that some ethnicities have a genetic predisposition to higher IQs than others. The highest appears to be Central/Eastern European Jews and there’s a lot of evidence that this is actually an evolutionary trait that has occurred over the last millennium. On the other hand there is considerable evidence that Africans (and some others e.g.  Australian Aborigines) have a significantly lower average IQ than humans as a whole by at least one Standard Deviation (~15 points). This remains true even when you account for known IQ negatives like childhood nutrition. It’s true you don’t need an Einstein level IQ to be a good scientist (or even an adequate one), but IQ and mathematical/logical reasoning do correlate and successful scientists are definitely a solid one or two standard deviations above the 100 population average. If ethnicity one (E1) has an average IQ of 100-1SD and ethnicity two (E2) has an average IQ of 100+1SD then given the normal distribution the proportion of E1 that is 2SDs above the full population average (100) is around 2% (3 SDs above their population average) while the proportion of E2 is about 20% (1 SD above their population average) – Note I have rounded the numbers for easier sums, go look them up yourself. Given an equal number of E1 and E2 one would therefore expect about ten times as many people in E2 to be capable of a scientific career than those in E1.

The desire to do the job is essentially the same topic that got Jamie Damore fired from google. And yet, despite his being fired, it remains a valid point that is hard to argue against – indeed many social scientists stated that he had provided a perfectly correct summary/application of the known scientific literature. If a higher proportion of women or certain ethnicities see benefits from not becoming scientists (e.g. having children in their twenties for women) then the pool of candidates shrinks again. We could make every single African woman who wants to be a scientist and is smart enough one and still see that number overwhelmed by the number of (say) Chinese men who want to and are smart enough.

The Scientific establishment (of which Nature is a charter member) cannot face either of these alternatives because, despite both being based on solid science, they are politically unmentionable to the SJW sorts that seem to drive “Science”. The result will be that the Scientific Establishment will seek to emulate the racist policies of Harvard by actively discriminating against certain ethnicities (and possibly genders, sexual orientations etc.) in order to meet the required quotas for “inclusivity” and “diversity”. It is hard to see how this leads to better results from science. This in turn may lead to new “science” such as a “non-heteronromative version of evolution”