Friday, February 12, 2016

Neo-Lysenkoism: "Tell The Truth About [Welfare] Benefits Claimants And The Left Shuts You Down"

Best bit: "Personality is a capitalist construct"
Um... Anybody out there still think there is no leftward bias in the academy in general and social science in particular?


Blogger Aa said...

Of course there is and it tends to drive my conservative colleagues (of whom there are many) a bit crazy. However, in my experience Business Colleges within universities tend to have a rightward bias.

4:55 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, but I never doubted that B-schools were conservative...and I guess I thought that they were unabashedly so...

It seems a lot worse to me that basically the vast majority of all other departments are biased...and typically deny it. I mean, your "of course there is" would be denied by a whoooooole lotta non-B-school faculty. You expect business to lean to the right...but do students realize that their, say, sociology class is leftward-leaning? Or their lit class? Their speech comm class, anthropology class...and, to a greater and greater extent, apparently, even their philosophy class?

7:31 PM  
Blogger Aa said...

We should give students a bit more credit than that. I think they clue in very quickly about the bias of their professors. I do not talk about politics in my classes. However, when discussing the scientific method Evolution is front and center along with Atomic Theory as a scientific theory (and what theory means). When we discuss stoichiometry (how reactants and products relate to one another mathematically) the example the text and I use is on climate change (how much CO2 fossil fuels produce compared to volcanoes). Students figure it out.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Aa said...

Oh, and I agree, my 'of course it is' would be denied by most (or "...whoooooole lotta...") of my colleagues outwardly.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

I'm not sure how much I agree with the claim that students figure out the biases of their professors... I mean...I think it happens a fair bit--students have said almost exactly those words to me when I ask them about this.

But I worry about (a) the fact that so few profs acknowledge the problem of bias and (b) the fact that, when they do, "students figure it out" is sometimes offered as an excuse, or a way of dismissing the problem. (That's not what I think you are doing).

It's good that students figure it out at least to the extent that they do... But *they shouldn't have to.* It's appalling that there seems to be so much of it, and that there is so little concern about it by liberals. Many profs seem to oscillate between (i) it doesn't exist, (ii) there's no reason to worry about it, and (iii) it's impossible not to be biased. I don't think any of (i)-(iii) is true...and I don't think liberals would be so sanguine about it if the bias were equally pervasive, but conservative. In fact I know they wouldn't.

I think we could and should do better.

10:31 AM  

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