Brock University issues statement after research paper causes uproar

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A renowned international chemistry journal is apologizing for publishing an article written by a Brock University professor, amid accusations of racism and sexism.

It has pulled the opinion essay entitled, “A Reflection on the Current State of Affairs” by Professor Tomas Hudlicky from its website.

The Editor in Chief of the Angewandte Chemie International Edition, issuing a statement saying, “the opinions expressed in this essay do not reflect our values of fairness, trustworthiness and social awareness.”

In it Professor Hudlicky writes “ The rise and emphasis on hiring practices that suggest or even mandate equality in terms of absolute numbers of people in specific subgroups is counter-productive if it results in discrimination against the most meritorious candidates.”

Yesterday,  Brock University issued a statement acknowledging “These statements are hurtful and alienating to members of diverse communities and historically marginalized groups who have, too often, seen their qualifications and abilities called into question.”

The University has also notified its graduate students in Chemistry letting them know supports are available to them should they have questions. 

The school also says further steps are being considered and developed and those will be shared with the community in the next few days.

Click here for the full statement from Brock. 

Here is the excerpt from Professor Hudlicky’s essay obtained by CKTB News:

Diversity of work force. In the last two decades many groups and/or individuals have beendesignated with “preferential status”. This in spite of the fact that the percentage of women andminorities in academia and pharmaceutical industry has greatly increased. It follows that, in asocial equilibrium, preferrential treatment of one group leads to disadvantages for another. Newideologies have appeared and influenced hiring practices, promotion, funding, and recognition ofcertain groups. Each candidate should have an equal opportunity to secure a position, regardlessof personal identification/categorization. The rise and emphasis on hiring practices that suggestor even mandate equality in terms of absolute numbers of people in specific subgroups iscounter-productive if it results in discrimination against the most meritorious candidates. Suchpractice affects the format of interviews and has led to the emergence of mandatory “trainingworkshops” on gender equity, inclusion, diversity, and discrimination [Note 2].

An example of focusing on “underrepresented minorities” can be seen in the recentlyestablished “Power Hour” at Gordon Research Conferences. While this effort is commendable inorder to increase the participation of women in science it diminishes the contributions by men (orany other group). Universities have established various centers for “Equity, Diversity andInclusion”, complete with mandatory seminars and training. These issues have influenced hiring practices to the point where the candidate’s inclusion in one of the preferred social groups may override his or her qualifications.