Saturday, August 26, 2023


 1/11/18 Campus Reform.  Not recent but still a reminder that the value of higher education needs re-evaluation:

Three British professors recently claimed that statistical analyses have been weaponized to “serve white racial interests” within academia and beyond.

Led by David Gillborn, a professor at the University of Birmingham, the professors argue that math serves white interests because it can “frequently encode racist perspectives beneath the facade of supposed quantitative objectivity.”

“Contrary to popular belief, and the assertions of many quantitative researchers, numbers are neither objective nor color-blind,” Gillborn and his team assert in their article for the journal Race, Ethnicity, and Education....

Numbers are not neutral because “quantitative data is often gathered and analyzed in ways that reflect the interests, assumptions, and perceptions of White elites,” they contend, adding that even so-called objective analysis fails to take the pervasiveness of racism into account.

Other key tenets of QuantCrit theory include realizing that math tends to legitimate existing racial inequalities, acknowledging that numerical analyses disadvantage minorities, and understanding how numbers play to the benefit of white interests.

Even if data is gathered by methods that either unconsciously or consciously reflect racist goals or beliefs, numbers are neutral.  Hindu-Arabic numerals are not Western.  Algebra has roots in the Muslim world (hint look for al-).  I am increasingly of the view that universities need to be self-funded.

No comments:

Post a Comment