Hi @Gavin thank you for your answer.
There are basically two points that raise perplexities in your analysis.
Excluded? Your long post seems entirely based on this assumption: there are excluded groups. And I would agree with your considerations if this assumption was true. But this is exactly where I disagree: are there excluded groups?
Sometimes there are, for example in Afghanistan women are excluded from the universities and perhaps in some other countries. These terrible situations should be corrected, of course. But in most of the case, I don’t see excluded groups, I only see under-represented groups. If this gap is a result of a real exclusion (i.e., discrimination or racism), then you have (1) to prove it (allegation with no evidence should not be considered) (2) fight against the discrimination at the root of the gap. I think we all agree about that.
But otherwise? If the gap is simply the result of different attitudes and choices? Should we impose demographic representation anyway? Should we force people to be included/excluded from a discipline just to meet an equal demographic representation?
In order to answer this question, we cannot do cherry picking by selecting studies that show the possible advantages of including “excluded” groups. We need to do a serious analysis looking at both costs and benefits and comparing them. Do the benefits compensate the costs? This is the real question.
And here there is my second concern, because I think that imposing demographic representation is very dangerous. It risks to lead to a new form of real exclusion and discrimination.
Unfortunately, this is not only a risk: it is something that is already happening, as you can see in this video by Lawrence Krauss, which presents a long record of injustices and discrimination that have recently happened in several universities precisely in the name of a more equal demographic representation: Is Woke Science the Only Science Allowed in Academia - YouTube
Look for instance at the minutes 18 -22. In Canada there are calls for academic positions where you can apply ONLY if you self-identify as woman, transgender, non-binary or if you belong to a racialized group.
In other words, if you are a white heterosexual male and identify yourself as a white heterosexual male, either you lie or you’re automatically excluded. Just because you are white heterosexual and male, you are excluded. There is a name for this and is not “inclusivity”. Indeed, here is the real exclusion. I would say it’s a violation of human rights.
Is it acceptable that human rights are violated only because some studies show that a perfect demographic representation may have some advantages? Moreover, the study you mention talks about including excluded groups, but does it prove that demographic representation should be perfect? I mean: what happens if women are only 40% or 30% instead of 50%? Is it provably worse? As far as I know there is no evidence for this.
Don’t get me wrong: I would be more than happy if in medicine or astrophysics there were more women! But if it does not happen, it is not acceptable to discriminate men just to favour women, or to discriminate whites just to favour blacks. It would be unfair and, in most cases, counterproductive for sciences. Even admitting there are advantages, they do not compensate the costs.
You guess wrong. There are such expectations instead, as you can see for example here: NHL, its workforce 84% white, sets baseline to up diversity | AP News and here https://twitter.com/AP_Sports/status/1582493338296532992
You’re not much into sport, right? I don’t not why, sport is always so underrated by intellectuals and academics (unless they are sport scientists)! This argument “sporting competitions mostly matter for individuals and don’t influence broader society that much” is the real “strawman” here. An example: many argue that sporting competition between nations can play a role in promoting peace and this idea has been part of the Olympics since its origins in ancient Greece. Actually, sporting competitions has always played a HUGE role for all societies.