The Issue at a Glance

Even Finance Professors Lean Left

Emre Kuvvet, Nova Southeastern University

The left-wing tilt of the American professoriate is not confined to social studies and humanities departments. Despite its intimate association with free markets, private enterprise, and banking, the nation’s top academic finance departments are also staffed mostly with professors on the political left.

Fact Checking Is Needed in Science Also

Henry H. Bauer, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

The status, prestige, and authority of science rest on the belief that scientific findings are reliable and true. But scientific understanding changes over time, and scientists themselves possess all the inclinations, motivations, and sensitivities that render humans fallible. For these reasons, argues Henry Bauer, science needs to be fact-checked and adjudicated by a “Science Court.”

Kipling, Orwell, and the Humanities

Glynn Custred, California State University, East Bay

The comparison of English writers Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell, both born in India during the heyday of the British empire, provide a lesson in how the humanities can enrich and guide our lives. It is a lesson, too, in what is lost when brilliant works of the past are jettisoned for failing rigid ideological litmus tests.

Diversity Training is Unscientific, and Divisive

Craig Frisby, University of Missouri

Robert Maranto, University of Arkansas

Diversity training (sometimes called “anti-racist” training) is based on a trendy but intellectually vacuous theory that whites are universally privileged and non-whites are everywhere victimized. But as a practical matter, there is a bigger problem for those hoping this training will result in greater intergroup harmony: it doesn’t work.

Affirmative Action: R.I.P. or Release 3.0?

John S. Rosenberg, www.Discriminations.us

In the wake of the George Floyd-inspired riots of 2020, a surfeit of colleges and universities has publicly admitted to the failure of the affirmative action policies they have practiced for the past fifty years. Instead of an honest evaluation of these failures, higher education leaders have doubled down, promising that proportional group representation will be the overriding goal of virtually all campus activities. In light of recent demographic changes, they should be careful of what they wish for.

The Behaviorist Plot

John Staddon, Duke University

Psychobiologist John Staddon finds a major study of behaviorism is littered with inaccuracies and girded by a belief that “behaviorism is a lab experiment propelled by billions of dollars” aimed at the capitalist control of human behavior.

Repatriation and the Threat to Objective Knowledge

Elizabeth Weiss, San José State University, James W. Springer, attorney (ret.)

The values of multiculturalism and scientific progress collide with federal laws such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, which require that human remains and cultural items discovered on tribal lands be given over to the descendants of Native Americans. For many of these descendants, the scientific study of objects that could improve our understanding of North American culture, history, and biology is not a high priority.

Self-Censorship and the Academic Mission

Mark Mercer, Saint Mary’s University

Speak your mind or even just float an idea on a college campus today and you might have to pay a steep price. So many just hold their tongue. Philosopher Mark Mercer explains that self-censorship is widely practiced in university communities, and suggests several ways to upend it.

Social Justice 101: Intro. to Cancel Culture

Steven Kessler, Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal

Social justice and cancel culture are the latest iterations of progressivism, a philosophy that sees people as naturally good and society as corrupt. This is what accounts for the desperate desire to remake society, perfect the world, and destroy all perceived obstacles to the forward march of human nature.

Can Science be Saved?

John Staddon, Duke University

A critique of scientific practice published in 2020 has convinced John Staddon that science is more deeply troubled than he had previously thought. From “p-value hacking,” “Least Publishable Unit” studies, and the replication crisis to publication bias, pc conformity, and outright fraud, there seems no end to the afflictions that beset the discipline.


Image: Gabriele Diwald, Public Domain

Recommended Citation: (2021), The Issue at a Glance. 34(2) DOI: 10.51845/34su.2.1. https://www.nas.org/academic-questions/34/2/the-issue-at-a-glance.

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