A female named Emma Goldberg took to the pages of the (anti-Christian) New York Times and said Earth Science Has a Whiteness Problem.
Barely 10 percent of doctoral degrees in the geosciences go to recipients of color. The lack of diversity limits the quality of research, many scientists say.
Meaning, we suppose, some 9 out of 10 PhDs go to people of no color. Ordinarily, this would be taken to indicate that people of no color are on average better at geosciences than their more shaded cousins.
Goldberg instead opens her piece telling us of the horrors a female of color student had to endure at Columbia:
“You’d walk through the halls and it’s a lot of old white men,” Ms. Varuolo-Clarke said.
When it was Varuolo-Clarke’s right to see old of colors, instead.
In a commentary last week in Nature Geoscience, Kuheli Dutt, Lamont-Doherty’s assistant director for academic affairs and diversity, wrote that “a lack of diversity and inclusion is the single largest cultural problem facing the geosciences today.”
The unfortunately named Dutt did not say lack of of-colors was any sort of problem for the quality of geoscience work, but for the culture of geoscience departments. This is, of course, a circular argument. But logic is a specialty of old of no color men, a subject Dutt would not be expected to be familiar with.
Goldberg’s next sentence may be her most important: “The geosciences — which include the study of planet Earth, its oceans, its atmosphere and its interactions with human society — are among the least diverse across all fields of science.”
Who knew study of the planet Earth was a geoscience? This information has been kept hidden, no doubt because of the machinations of old of no color men.
Anyway, why is it important geosciences be “diverse”? Goldberg, to her credit, at least offers an answer, which most do not, taking it is sacrilege to express any hint of doubt about Diversity.
Goldberg says “…lack of representation in turn affects the quality and focus of earth science research, especially on climate change.” How so?
Lorelei Curtin, a fifth-year Ph.D. student at Columbia University, said her earth science classes could be enriched by a greater focus on nonwhite and Indigenous histories and voices, given that “Indigenous people have a unique connection to the land.”
One imagines the hair of the earnest indigenous populants always blows gently in the breezes of Mother Earth as they bring forth their connections to the land—to help them understand mathematical cloud parameterization schemes in coupled climate models better. Unlike old men of no color, indigenous populants sit at biodegradable abacuses and code to flute music.
On the other hand, given the track record of accurate climate predictions made by majority of no colors, maybe importing hordes of of-colors will improve things.
On the other other hand, maybe the real problem is Diversity after all. Take this clue from Goldberg:
Dr. Dutt, Lamont-Doherty’s diversity director, joined the Observatory 11 years ago as its only person of color in a leadership role. Since then she has led trainings for geoscientists on recognizing their implicit biases to foster a more racially inclusive environment.
Eleven years ago? Earth sciences has been on a downward course, and this could be the cause of part of it. Focusing on race, sex, and so on, and not focusing on physics has the effect—write this down—of taking the focus away from physics.
There, that should be worth a Nobel prize, no?
Here’s how Goldberg ended her article, her very words:
“Sometimes it’s an elephant in the room that I’m a woman of color,” Ms. Varuolo-Clarke said. “I’d rather we talk about it versus tiptoeing around it.”
Comparing women of color to elephants in the old days would have earned cries of “racism”. It is now a badge of honor, apparently.
Anyway, Dutt’s article in a science journal is “Race and racism in the geosciences”, which opens “Geoscientists in the United States are predominantly White. Progress towards diversification can only come with a concerted shift in mindsets and a deeper understanding of the complexities of race.”
Progress towards diversification. Progress, she said. Why is this progress?
People of colour tend to view race as an important part of their identity, whereas White people tend to view it as incidental.
Boy are whites evil for not realizing race is more important than geosciences to geoscientists.
On a personal level there are three things that White geoscientists can do immediately. First, they should separate their privilege as a White person from their identity as a good person.
There’s one thing I want Dutt to do, but since this is a family blog, I can’t print what that is.
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