I, like you might be after you see it, was surprised after I saw that the National Science Foundation, the source for funding for the so-called hard sciences, came right out and said it.
“White scientists are more likely to win a grant from the National Science Foundation than researchers from other racial and ethnic groups,” they said.
We knew white scientists were doing well, but that was from relying on anecdotal observations. Here we have, Science mag says, “an independent analysis of more than 2 decades of NSF data on its merit review process.”
They say that “NSF funding rates” had “white scientists at the top and Asian researchers at the bottom”. Blacks are somewhere in the middle.
Well, thats the hard numbers, done scientifically. Must then be true: white scientists provide the better sort of science.
Question is, is it nature or nurture? Surely both, and in different proportion in different people. Well, we can leave that to whoever is interested in teasing out such subtleties.
It’s anyway clear that once a person has success, they often go on to more successes. Since it’s true of individuals, it can be true of the groups to which those individuals belong. So that if a white guy invents some nifty new science, he’s likely to snag the next and large grant on the topic. And if the same things happen with a lot of white guys, then those guys will go on to collect the money, get more papers, be put in places of authority, and so on and so forth.
Even the study authors know this, saying initial successes “have cascading impacts that perpetuate a cumulative advantage to White [principal investigators] across all of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” Not an especially interesting observation, a banality. But there you go.
The rate at which whites do better isn’t loads higher than Asians, but in large groups any small difference in magnified (my emphasis):
Every scientist submitting a proposal to NSF faces stiff competition; overall success rates fluctuated between 22% and 34% over the study period. But white scientists consistently did better, Chen and colleagues found. (Scientists are asked to voluntarily provide their race and ethnicity when applying for a grant.)
In 2019, for example, NSF funded 31.3% of proposals from white scientists, versus an overall rate of 27.4%. In contrast, the success rate was 22.4% for Asian scientists and 26.5% for Black scientists. Proposals from Latino scientists were funded 29% of the time, a rate slightly above average but below the rate for white scientists.
Whites must be pretty smart to keep ahead like this.
Not only that—I don’t want you to miss this—black success rates were four points higher than Asian success rates.
I mean, you hear a lot about IQ tests and the like, and how much better Asians do than blacks (and whites). But those tests are, to a certain extent, artificial environments. When the electron hits the screen, it turns out blacks are better scientists than Asians. Which is why they win more awards.
It’s not because Asians aren’t trying hard enough. “Asian scientists,” they say, “submit the second most proposals of the various groups every year, roughly half the number sent in by white scientists.”
Even with all that effort, Asians can’t keep up with blacks, who do the least work. Well, if whites do the most, and Asians next most, and Latinos “submit about 50% more proposals to NSF than do Black scientists”, blacks must do the least. This is confirmed by our researchers: “Black researchers submit one proposal for every 20 proposals NSF receives from white scientists.”
Yet still they beat Asians.
There are, of course, various kinds of grants. Some are for teaching and other bureaucratic meddling, the growing scourge of science. About three quarters of grants are for science itself (what they call “research” grants).
White scientists enjoy an even larger advantage over most other groups in winning research awards, the study found. For nonresearch awards, most nonwhite groups did better than the NSF-wide average.
Whites are not just doing well, but really knocking those test tubes out of the labs.
Blacks are catching up, though and might soon overtake everybody. There were words in the report about how the NSF is going to bolster “programs designed to increase the success of Black applicants.” Soon they will be able to do even less work.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.