Here’s a potential explanation for the plea for more students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. From Heather Mac Donald at City Journal:
Identity politics has engulfed the humanities and social sciences on American campuses; now it is taking over the hard sciences. The STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—are under attack for being insufficiently “diverse.” The pressure to increase the representation of females, blacks, and Hispanics comes from the federal government, university administrators, and scientific societies themselves. That pressure is changing how science is taught and how scientific qualifications are evaluated. The results will be disastrous for scientific innovation and for American competitiveness.
A scientist at UCLA reports: “All across the country the big question now in STEM is: how can we promote more women and minorities by ‘changing’ (i.e., lowering) the requirements we had previously set for graduate level study?” Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind.
Apparently, having absorbed the humanities, diversity advocates wept because there were no more worlds to conquer.
Actually, it makes perfect sense. When you believe that everything including the laws of physics are social constructs, you’ll want to push engineering and the sciences in your own preferred direction.
Scientists and engineers are no more immune to prejudices, preferences, priorities, and agendas than any other human being. The challenge for engineering and the sciences is less in capitalizing on these differing points of view than in subordinating them through the vigorous and vigilant application of the scientific method. Objectivity is not impossible; it is difficult.
Here’s a question for you. Is the movie Hidden Figures about how racism and sexism suppressed black women capable of making great contributions to the space program? Or is it a parable of how concentrating on good work let those women make their contributions? Is it more important to do the work or get the credit?