Phi Beta Cons

Intolerance in the Academy

Last week, a new finding on ideological imbalance in the university made headlines all over the country. According to Matt Woessner, an associate professor of political science and public policy at Penn State Harrisburg, liberal professors now outnumber their conservative counterparts by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1. Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University, said the imbalance might be even worse than that—with faculty who vote Democratic outnumbering those who vote Republican by 9 to 1 or even 10 to 1.Woessner, an associate professor of political science and public policy at Penn State Harrisburg, liberal professors now outnumber their conservative counterparts by a ratio of roughly 5 to 1. Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University, said the imbalance might be even worse than that—with faculty who vote Democratic outnumbering those who vote Republican by 9 to 1 or even 10 to 1.

Those inside the academy respond that the imbalance doesn’t matter since professors leave their ideology out of their work.

But Jonathan Anomaly, a lecturer and research professor with the Duke/UNC Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program, recently discovered that this is not the case.

In today’s article for the Pope Center, Anomaly describes his experience with what he calls “The New Creationists,” those who “use Darwin as a bludgeon against the old creationists, but then reject scientific conclusions when they conflict with their political convictions.”

These academics rejected an article by Anomaly for his suggestion that biology may play a role in explaining some differences between men and women and between different ethnic and racial groups.

Moreover, they were very nasty about it—hurling insults at academics that Anomaly cited, including Steven Pinker, E.O. Wilson, and Jonathan Haidt.

Read Anomaly’s full account of his interaction with these “New Creationists” here.

Jenna A. RobinsonJenna Ashley Robinson is the president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Before becoming president, she was the center's director of outreach. She was previously the ...

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