So why are there so few conservatives in academia, not just in humanities and social sciences, but in science and engineering? Is it, as some have claimed, that conservatives just don’t make the grade? Well, maybe so.
But Paul Krugman, writing in the New York Times, poses another question: Why are there so few liberals in the military? Could it be we’re all a bunch of cowards unwilling to stand up for freedom? Well, maybe so.
But one of Krugman’s answers is self-selection. Another is values.
In its April Fools’ Day issue, Scientific American published a spoof editorial in which it apologized for endorsing the theory of evolution just because it’s “the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time,” saying that “as editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.” And it conceded that it had succumbed “to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do.”
Krugman points out that Republicans have come to favor revelation over research; they don’t “respect science, or scholarship in general. It shouldn’t be surprising that scholars have returned the favor by losing respect for the Republican Party.”