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[Phys-L] implicit bias (and plain old bias)

We would like to think that our colleagues are all professionals,
all refined modern intellectuals, not perpetrators of racism and

The data says that's not entirely true. No anecdotes needed; this
is hard data.

Katie Langin
"Racial and gender biases plague postdoc hiring"

Bradley Miller is more likely to be hired than José Rodriguez. Zhang
Wei (David) is more competent than Jamal Banks. And both Miller and
Zhang are more competent and hirable than Maria Rodriguez or Shanice

These postdoc job candidates are fictional. But the differences in
how they’re viewed based on name alone—despite identical CVs—by a
sample of professors are real. That’s according to a new study that
unearths evidence of racial bias in biology and a combination of
gender and racial bias in physics, highlighting both the pervasive
nature of various biases in science as well as important disciplinary

“This is a really, really important study,” says Corinne
Moss-Racusin, an associate professor of psychology at Skidmore
College in Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2012 Moss-Racusin published
a similar study, which found that biology, chemistry, and physics
faculty members who reviewed applications for a lab manager position
favored applicants named John over otherwise identical applicants
named Jennifer. The new study, published today in the journal Sex
Roles, is an important advance because it manipulates race as well as
gender, she says. “It certainly supports a lot of anecdotal findings,
self-reports, correlational data—but to really have some hard
experimental numbers … is really important.”

Upstream reference:

Earlier study: