Think of the message this sends: today's Republican Party - increasingly dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research - doesn't respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn't be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.Clearly Krugman --as one of the annointed elite-- need not be concerned when the revelations come from his own mind. He expects us to accept his lordly opinion as absolute truth. The only hint of actual facts or data in his editorial are in the academic reports he cites as documenting the absence of Republicans on campus.
I'm an evidence-based sort of person. This kind of thing annoys me. I am also an academic who happens to be on the opposite side of the political spectrum from HRH Krugman.
I wonder how this would have gone over if "women" or "blacks" were substituted for the word "Republican"?
In fact, let me substitue those words in for "Republican", and see what you think:
It's a fact, documented by two recent studies, that women and blacks make up only a small minority of professors at elite universities. But what should we conclude from that?Now does it sound more familiar?
Liberals see it as compelling evidence of sex and racial bias in university hiring and promotion. And they say that new "affirmative action" laws will simply mitigate the effects of that bias, promoting diversity. But a closer look both at the universities and at the motives of those who would police them suggests a quite different story.
Claims that sexual and racial bias keeps women and blacks off college faculties almost always focus on the humanities and social sciences, where judgments about what constitutes good scholarship can seem subjective to an outsider. But studies that find women and blacks in the minority at elite universities show that they are almost as rare in hard sciences like physics and in engineering departments as in softer fields. Why?
One answer is self-selection - the same sort of self-selection that leads women to exist in greater numbers as homemakers and blacks as basketball stars. The sort of person who prefers an academic career to staying at home or to sports is likely to be somewhat less scholarly than average, even in engineering. (Emphasis indicates where the words are substituted in the original)
It's the same old racism and sexism disguised as academic tripe that we've come to expect from the Krugmans of the world, who believe truth should be determined by THEIR revelations, not real research; and who show only contempt for anyone outside their elite circle.
Sadly, this is neither "scholarship" nor "science", but only a thinly disguised religion in its own right--focused on the worship of a different god.
UPDATE: The Corner's Stanley Kurtz has some interesting comments.