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Women in Astronomy

Why I think diversity is good, but the wrong target

19 Nov 2014, 20:42 UTC
Why I think diversity is good, but the wrong target
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

There have been many posts on this blog and elsewhere calling for increased diversity in astronomy. I've written about it. My student has written about it. Diversity has many benefits, and we're missing out on those benefits by not having a more diverse field of science. However, I'm becoming less and less enamored with diversity as a target or goal in and of itself.This stock photo shows more diversity than exists in astronomy today, but illustrateswhat counts as diversity in most campus discussions. The out-of-focus Black personis particularly apropos to this discussion.Short VersionIf we only focus on diversity, we'll be like a CEO saying that her goal is to "make money." Ohhh-kay. But how, specifically? By what strategy and mechanisms will the CEO make money? It'd be like a coach of a sports team saying, "Our goal is to score more points than our opponents!" By what strategy? What offensive and defensive approach will you use? "Nope, we're just focused on scoring points!"Diversity is something we should strive for. But how will we get there? I contend that we'll only get to diversity by attacking the power structures that hold us back and stand in the way of diversity. For ...

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