New Research: See No Bias, Hear No Bias, Speak for No Change
A study of the attitudes of progressive, white, male physicists suggests that their inaction in confronting biases contributes significantly to the problem of inequality in physics research.
The preprint, “How well-intentioned white male physicists maintain ignorance of inequity and justify inaction,” written by Melissa Dancy of Western Michigan University and Apriel Hodari of Eureka Scientific in California, examines white cisgender men and their role in perpetuating inequities in physics.
Particularly overrepresented in positions holding status and influence, they are positioned to be agents of systemic change, but in the study, their patterns of behavior and belief – inaction, ignorance and “passing the buck” – were consistent. They distanced themselves from discriminatory behaviors, minimized negative experiences of people from minority backgrounds, and tried to justify why they wouldn’t intervene in discriminatory behaviors and/or harassment.
The article is available to read at https://arxiv.org/abs/2210.03522.
M. Dancy and A. Hodari, “How well-intentioned white male physicists maintain ignorance of inequity and justify inaction,” arXiv:2210.03522.
— Information here has been condensed and summarized from the original by Katherine Wright at https://physics.aps.org/articles/v16/33?fbclid=IwAR01gOJTG3d26PkCoA52C3jhglCyfiQT1nHeppFGYmibYc_z2ubLv9rOF90.