Field of Science

Diversity award nomination invalid!

Wow! The Phactor got nominated for a diversity award at our great public university! What an honor! Except the award committee informed me that my nomination was considered invalid!
Having spent the greater part of my adult life teaching biological and botanical diversity, you may wonder in what respect was my involvement with diversity invalid? Well, people, it's because the Phactor is not about people. Yes, rather than considering diversity in some meaningful sense, diversity at a university only refers to human diversity: different sexes (covered), different cultures (covered), different varieties (covered), different countries of origin (Different geographic origins covered, but what do organisms care about political boundaries?). And this then is symptomatic of the whole problem of our egocentric approach to knowledge. About 5% of our faculty and about 5% of a college degree are about life and the universe; all the rest is about humans and human artifacts. Does that seem a fair balance? US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, US, and everything else. A historian complains that not enough is required to teach "ancient" history. Ancient! Plant diversity covers 3.8 billion years of history! In comparison, human history is like reading yesterday's newspaper! Even biology suffers from a human biomedical bias that does its darnedest to reduce diversity. Why some of my colleagues do not even want to include those organisms, plants all, that prevent us from being naked, miserable, and hungry. The Phactor needs no stinking diversity award of that type!

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