Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Sep/11

5

Diversity at the NIH

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Heather:

Good post on the Columbia "diversity" rackets.

On the general issue of racially-proportionate representation in this and that, I’ve done a couple of rounds with the NIH’s Office of Extramural Research at their website.

The topic is the recent NIH study on the lack of diversity in grant awards.

If you look at the Office of Extramural Research website you’ll see my comment at 11:09 am on September 1.

This raised outrage from "Saddened by Blatant Racism in Science" at 9:43 pm (oh, cheer up, there!) and an incomprehensible, and statistically illiterate, critique from "DrugMonkey" at 7:34 am on September 2.

My responses are "awaiting moderation." In case they don’t make it, they are:

•  To "Saddened by Blatant Racism in Science":

Alas, in science data is countered by data, not by disgust or offense.

To "DrugMonkey":

I cannot see what range restriction has to do with it.

Let us suppose, as a fair approximation, that the U.S. population contains 40m blacks, 40m Hispanics, and 220m non-Hispanic whites. Let us further suppose that the IQ distributions have means 85, 89, and 100, with standard deviations 15 in each case. Then the numbers of Americans out beyond 130 IQ are, b-H-w, in thousands: 54, 125, 5000. The numbers out beyond 3SD are, also in thousands: 1.3, 4, 297. This is the most elementary statistics (I used Microsoft Excel). These numbers offer a perfectly sufficient explanation for the observed disparities at the grant-awarding level. If they do not, tell me why they do not.

You say that success in science is not correlated with "mental horsepower" (which I suppose means IQ). Two sentences later you say that: "You don’t get very far in these careers with a population mean IQ." These statements seem to me to be contradictory.

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2 comments

  • John · September 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    One would think that scientists, of all people, would understand these arguments, but a lot of them don’t, or perhaps just don’t want to listen.

  • ritebrother · September 12, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    As a white guy who competes in this environment for what are these days limited NIH funds, and deals ad nauseum with my university’s ever expanding and increasingly empowered Diversity Office, I’m grateful for your efforts at forcing the discussion to one based on data (i.e. reality).

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