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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Engineering — or social engineering?

“A phalanx of social justice warriors, ideologues, egalitarians, and opportunistic careerists” want universities to teach “social engineering rather than actual engineering,” complains Indrek Wichman, a Michigan State engineering professor, on the Martin Center blog.

He takes aim at Purdue’s School of Engineering Education, which envisions a ““more socially connected” way of teaching. Donna Riley, Purdue’s new head of engineering education, strives to apply “liberative pedagogies in engineering education, leveraging best practices from women’s studies and ethnic studies to engage students in creating a democratic classroom that encourages all voices,” she writes.

 “I seek to revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destinations, integrating concerns related to public policy, professional ethics, and social responsibility; de-centering Western civilization; and uncovering contributions of women and other underrepresented groups…. We examine how technology influences and is influenced by globalization, capitalism, and colonialism…. Gender is a key…[theme]…[throughout] the course…. We…[examine]… racist and colonialist projects in science….”

“Engineering does not care about your color, sexual orientation, or your other personal and private attributes,” Wichman believes. Just “do the work well.”

Is he hopelessly out of date?

If you want to talk about James Damore’s views on why Google has fewer female software engineers (I’m burned out on the subject), I recommend Scott Alexander’s post on significant and insignificant male-female differences.

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