Preposterous Universe

Friday, April 09, 2004
Diversity II

In the last post I lamented the dearth of women in physics, but there is another group that is even less well represented: conservatives in academia. Not to fear, David Horowitz has come up with a straightforward solution to this glaring inequity: he wants to legislate ideological balance in university departments, under the rubric of "intellectual diversity."

This is obviously a brilliant idea, although it suffers from one obvious flaw: it takes the influence of academia far too seriously. What we really need to do is to legislate mandatory ideological balance in all areas of human endeavor. Personally I think that large corporations tend to affect our daily lives more than university faculties do, so I'd be happy to see affirmative action for under-represented politics among CEOs. All sorts of institutions could be opened up to greater balance: lawyers, bankers, football coaches, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I look forward to the day when all sectors of America have attained perfect ideological diversity.

As a side project (how does he find the time?) Horowitz wants to help leftists keep in touch with each other, through a database of leftist people and organizations. The site will eventually be at www.followthenetwork.org, but the pages are currently unavailable while they work some of the kinks out. If you're impatient, someone has mirrored an early version of the site before it went quiet. I was happy to see the University of Chicago appear, although apparently the Enrico Fermi Institute didn't make it. Thanks for the help keeping the left-wing conspiracy intact, David.

Ideas on culture, science, politics.
Sean Carroll

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