New Study Tracks Rise of DEI in STEM Departments, Associations, Grants, and Literature

Press Release

National Association of Scholars

New York, NY; December 7, 2022 – In recent years, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology has spread aggressively throughout institutions of higher education in the United States. Arising from within the humanities and social sciences, DEI has begun to influence the natural sciences, causing them to stray away from their mission to seek truth and to instead work to advance political narratives. A new study published today by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), Ideological Intensification, offers an in-depth quantitative analysis of just how far DEI has advanced into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.

“DEI has torn through barriers established to protect students and professors from ideological intrusion into their learning and research,” said study co-author Mason Goad. “By dismantling academic freedom and enforcing ideological uniformity among faculty and staff, DEI’s followers have established themselves as the preeminent ideologues on America’s college campuses today.”

Ideological Intensification examines 100 college and university websites and Twitter feeds; the content of four major academic associations; the grants awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health, and the Ford Foundation; and the scholarly literature contained in PubMed, arXiv, Google Scholar, and Web of Science. In total, the study incorporates over 30GB of data in more than 280,000 files.

Goad continued, “To our knowledge, this is the largest quantitative study of DEI in STEM to date. There is still some noise in the data, but the signal is quite clear: DEI-related language is co-occurring with STEM-related language at a much higher frequency than even a few years ago.”

The study finds that college and university websites incorporating DEI and STEM terms were 26 times more frequent in 2021 than they were in 2010. NSF funding for so-called “antiracist” themes more than tripled from 2020 to 2021. Similar trends are visible among the scientific literature. The study notes that much of this increase was likely triggered by the Black Lives Matter movement, as evidenced by the rapid spike in incidence in the summer of 2020.

The resources provided by Ideological Intensification, including over 30 graphs, an animated map, and extensive data mining tools, afford other researchers opportunities to continue investigating DEI’s rapid growth in the natural sciences. Ideological Intensification finds that DEI ideology has spread to almost every facet of the scientific enterprise.

“The DEI assault on the natural sciences is a worrying trend not just for the few remaining heterodox scientists, but also for the quality of research that our government and experts from around the world rely upon,” explained J. Scott Turner, Director of the Study of DEI in the Sciences Project. “As recent years prove, public trust in all institutions, and especially experts, is on the decline. Public trust in our institutions of higher education will continue to decline so long as ideologues use them to advance their vain political agendas.”

About the Authors

Mason Goad is a Junior Researcher at the National Association of Scholars. He graduated from the University of North Georgia with a bachelor’s in Strategic and Security Studies. His areas of academic interests include national security, cognitive security, cybersecurity, and intelligence.

Bruce R. Chartwell is a data scientist whose expertise for this report was truly invaluable. For security reasons, Mr. Chartwell has chosen to remain pseudonymous. We thank him for his assistance in this report and for his work against authoritarianism generally.

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.

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If you would like more information about this issue, please contact Mason Goad at [email protected]

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